Japan on March 8 reported 47 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 pushing the nationwide toll past 400, international media reported citing the country’s health ministry. Coronavirus has reportedly infected over 461 cases and killed 6 people across the nation. According to media reports, the tally also includes the 696 people who contracted the virus onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Meanwhile, Japan is constantly upping measures to curb the virus outbreak. On March 5, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said that the nation will quarantine all passengers from China and South Korea in a bid to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. According to an international media outlet, the measure will take effect on March 9 and last through March 31. While speaking to a Japanese media outlet, Abe said that the visas that have already been issued to people from the two countries will be further suspended.
The Japanese PM in a public statement said, “We will strengthen immigration quarantines on people from the two countries. We will ask them to stay in designated areas for two weeks and not to use public transport”. As per reports, the Japanese government is also considering an entry ban on visitors from parts of Iran. China, the epicentre of coronavirus, has by far the largest number of infections and South Korea and Iran, on the other hand, has also seen a surge in recent days.
On the other hand, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry announced on March 7 that it was raising the travel alert across all regions of Japan. The announcement was made in light of growing concerns regarding the number of coronavirus cases in Japan. The threat level increase will go into effect from March 9 onwards.
Last week, Seoul had advised 'caution', which is a threat level lower than 'restraint' which is what has been announced now. According to reports, during its announcement, the ministry claimed that it had taken the drastic step because of the continued spread of the coronavirus in Japan and its effect on Koreans.