Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: After a recent surge in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions of the country.

The month-long emergency from April 7 will cover Osaka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures as well as the capital. The move hands over power to the local governments so that they can urge the residents to stay home which in turn will contain the further spread of COVID-19.

The emergency declaration, which will be effective till May 6, will be the first-ever declaration in Japan and would curtail people’s rights and freedom to an extent. However, this will not lead to hard lockdowns on a scale as seen in countries like China and France due to the limits in the Japanese law.

In a task force meeting, Abe said, “We are in a situation in which the spread of infections is rapid and widespread across the country, threatening to seriously impact people’s lives and the economy.”

Abe’s cabinet will also finalise its government’s biggest ever stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen to mitigate the impact caused by the pandemic in the world’s third-largest economy.

The total number of infections in Japan has topped 4,800 which includes about 700 from the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined in February near Tokyo. The death toll has reached 108.

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