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Japan not to declare state of emergency over COVID-19 : Abe

02-04-2020

Agencies, Tokyo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday said the nation has not yet reached a stage, where it should declare a state of emergency over the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, even as the number of cases continue to rise in the country.

The Japanese leader said that for the time-being, Prefectural Governors would be allowed to pass the necessary orders at the local level, like restricting the movement of people.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been pushing Mr Abe to decide on declaring a state of emergency, saying that Tokyo is "on the brink," and issuing orders for a potential citywide lockdown, because he warned that if the situation is left unchecked, it could lead to an "explosive spread" of cases of COVID-19.

The Japanese Prime Minister said that even if a state of emergency were to be declared, it would not necessarily mean that cities nationwide would face an immediate lockdown, but a number of orders may be issued on a case-by-case basis, as dictated by the needs of cities and prefectures and as requested by prefectural authorities.

It would not be possible to implement the sweeping lockdowns here, as other countries such as France have done, but if a state of emergency is declared after Parliamentary deliberations, then he stood ready to fulfill his obligations, Mr Abe added.

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