Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly expanded the state of emergency to cover the whole nation. Previously the emergency was imposed on only the capital city Tokyo and six other prefectures but now a nationwide lockdown has been imposed. This comes as the coronavirus pandemic has infected 8,626 and killed 178 across Japan.
According to the reports, the Japanese leader has also announced cash handouts of 1,00,000 yen for every citizen. Talking about his decision, Abe reportedly said that the expansion of emergency was aimed at reducing the movement of people and achieving as much as "80 per cent social distancing". Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, on April 7, had declared a month-long state of emergency in the capital and six other prefectures in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, there were no penalties announced on people who defied the rules.
The state of emergency includes a stay-at-home request, guidance to schools on temporary closures and requests to close nonessential businesses and stores and to cancel or postpone events and exhibits. According to reports, violators cannot be penalized unless they fail to comply with orders on providing or storing emergency relief goods, such as surgical masks and medical equipment. Still, the state of emergency could significantly limit the movement of people around and out of the cities across Japan. This comes as Abe, since days, has been under pressure to declare a state of emergency to get better compliance with calls for social distancing amid a rising number of cases without any known contact with other patients.
Recently, Abe shared a video of himself lounging at home as a response to singer Gen Hoshino who had also uploaded a video of himself singing about dancing indoors and urged collaboration. While Abe wanted to encourage everyone to stay home and practice social distancing to curb the further spread of coronavirus, however, the post drew an angry response from internet users.
Image credits: AP