Shinzo Abe has ordered all schools to close
The Japanese Prime Minister today ordered the closure of all schools in the country for a month in an attempt to stop the spread of the corona virus.
Shinzo Abe said: ‘The government considers the health and safety of children above all else.
“We ask all primary, secondary and secondary schools throughout the country to close temporarily from March 2 next week until their spring break.”
More than 200 people in Japan have contracted the virus so far and four people have died.
On the main northern island of Hokkaido, 13 new cases, including two children under the age of 10, were confirmed, the public broadcaster NHK reported.
Osaka officials had already ordered the closure of all schools in the city for fourteen days and 1,600 schools in Hokkaido would also close.
The move came after a woman in Osaka, with a population of 2.6 million, tested positive for the second time for the virus in one of the first cases of its kind.
The 40-year-old caught the virus while working on a tour bus in Osaka with visitors from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, in January.
She was released from the hospital after she tested negative on February 6, but fell ill again and was diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday for the second time.
All schools in Japan close for a month in an attempt to prevent the corona virus from spreading
So far at least 186 people in Japan have contracted the virus and four people have died. On the photo: people wearing protective face masks in front of the Olympic rings in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo
Officials measuring body temperature in a conference room in Tokyo
Nearly 700 people have been diagnosed with the virus aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship and four have died.
About 1,600 schools on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido were already ready to close after an 80-year-old man with heart and lung diseases died of the virus, Governor Naomichi Suzuki announced on Thursday.
The governor requested schools to close for about a week.
An Osaka city official said the city government was holding a meeting on Thursday afternoon to discuss measures on the virus in the city, which is about 250 miles west of the capital, Tokyo.
Japan said on Thursday that preparations for a rare state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled for April, were underway, even though it insisted on reducing sporting and cultural events to prevent the spread of the new corona virus.
“It is on schedule for President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan, and we will continue to prepare,” Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.
“A visit to Japan by the general secretary of China only happens once every 10 years.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi spoke by telephone on Wednesday evening to confirm that the visit would continue, Japan said.
China’s best diplomat, Yang Jiechi, will make a two-day visit to Japan from Friday when he will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A senior member of the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday that if it is too dangerous to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer due to the corona virus outbreak, organizers have the chance to cancel it altogether rather than postpone it or move it.
Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been at the IOC since 1978 and makes him the longest serving member, estimated that there is a two-month period to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision can be delayed until the end of May.
He said: “In and around that time I would say that people should ask:” Is this under sufficient control that we can trust to go to Tokyo or not? “.”
Nearly 700 people have been diagnosed with the virus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined for Japan
Global coronavirus deaths are approaching 3,000 and cases have risen by more than 82,000
A woman who works as a guide in Japan has twice tested positive for coronavirus in what is probably the first case.
The 40-year-old worked in January on a tour bus with visitors from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
She was first confirmed as being infected with the corona virus on January 29.
After being released from the hospital, she tested negative for the virus on February 6, although she was still coughing at the time.
She had no symptoms a week later, but returned to the doctor on February 21 with complaints about sore throat and chest pain.
On Wednesday, she tested positive for the corona virus for the second time, officials in Osaka said.
The driver of the tour bus also tested positive for the virus.
The government has come under pressure for a relatively hands-off approach to the virus, but on Thursday the Osaka prefecture government said it would extend the screening of patients to a broader group than is currently prescribed by central guidelines.
“We will ensure that people to be tested are tested and avoid a worst-case scenario by preventing these people from developing symptoms and serious conditions,” said Osaka Governor, Hirofumi Yoshimura.
Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been at the IOC since 1978, said the fear of coronavirus could weaken the Tokyo Olympics