Coronavirus: Abe proposes cutback on major events
NHK -- Feb 27
The Japanese government is stepping up its protective measures, with a proposed pause on large public gatherings.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suggested that major sport, cultural and other events should be cancelled, delayed or scaled down for about two weeks.

Abe said, "Now is the crucial time to contain the spread of the virus at an early date."

He added the government will ban foreign nationals from southern areas of South Korea from entering Japan starting Thursday.

The government has also set up a team of experts to tackle virus clusters a growing global concern.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said, "A cluster is a group of people infected with the virus in a chain. Clusters may produce other clusters. The government and experts are afraid of this kind of expansion."

The ministry says clusters may have already occurred in some parts of Japan, including Tokyo and the western prefecture of Wakayama.

In Japan, more than 860 people have been confirmed to be infected. Nearly 700 of them are from a quarantined cruise ship docked near Tokyo.

Health officials say an elderly person with the virus has died in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido, the second fatality outside the ship.

Four people from the vessel have died.

政府は新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を防ぐため、今後2週間、多くの人が集まるイベントについて中止や延期といった対応を取るよう要請しました。  安倍総理大臣:「多数の方が集まるような全国的なスポーツ、文化イベント等については大規模な感染リスクがあることを勘案し、今後2週間は中止、延期または規模縮小等の対応を要請することと致します」  今回の政府の要請には強制力はなく、最終的な判断はイベントの主催者が行います。安倍総理は対策会議で「国民が一丸となって対策を進めてほしい」と強調しました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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