Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeated his request to the people to stay home and cooperate Wednesday, the day after he declared a month long state of emergency to Tokyo and six other prefectures.
The measure allows Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her counterparts in six prefectures to issue stricter requests to the residents to stay home and businesses and organizations to shut down, though there will be no penalties to violators.
“I hear many company workers are switching to working from home. Only your cooperation can allow us to get out of the state of emergency in a month,” Abe said. He asked everyone to reduce interactions with people by up to 80%.
Abe has been criticized for being too slow to take significant steps over concerns about the Tokyo Olympics and a possibility of a severe economic impact from social distancing measures. Abe said Tuesday he took the measure as a surge of untraceable cases has made Japan’s strategy of cluster analysis difficult and medical systems were facing a risk of collapsing.
Japan’s health ministry on Wednesday, said 351 new cases were reported from around the country, bringing the national total of the virus infections to 4,257 with 81 deaths. Tokyo alone had 80 cases for a prefectural total of 1,196.
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