Japan To Set Up COVID-19 Task Force; No Emergency Now

TOKYO, Mar 26 (NNN-NHK) – Japan will set up a new COVID-19 task force, the government said today, as it warned of a high risk of a widespread of the virus, but the economy minister said, the government was not thinking of declaring a state of emergency now.

Japan had 1,313 domestic cases of COVID_19, as of Thursday morning, separate from 712 from a cruise ship that was moored near Tokyo last month. There have been 45 domestic deaths and 10 from the cruise ship.

“I told Prime Minister Abe there is a high risk of the virus spreading widely,” Health Minister, Katsunobu Kato, told reporters, after meeting Shinzo Abe and Economy Minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura.

Nishimura said, Abe told him to “proceed swiftly with setting up the government task force” based on Kato’s report.

But the government was not considering declaring a state of emergency at the moment, Nishimura said.

Under a law, revised this month, to cover the COVID-19, the prime minister can declare a state of emergency, if the disease poses a “grave danger” to lives, and if its rapid spread threatens serious economic damage. The virus has increased Japan’s recession risk.

A state of emergency would allow governors in hard-hit regions to take steps, such as asking people to stay home, closing schools and other public facilities and cancelling large events.– NNN-NHK