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State of emergency in Japan due to increased contagion

Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister said his government plans to declare a state of emergency for the coronavirus in the country and proposed a package of aid for a trillion dollars to combat the effects on the economy of the pandemic.

"We are seeing a rapid increase in new infections particularly in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka," said Abe.

Those two major cities and five other prefectures would be included in the state of emergency, which will empower governors to ask people to stay home, close businesses that appeal to many clients, and reserve land and buildings for medical purposes.

"We plan, over a period of about a month, to ask for more cooperation from the Japanese people to reduce personal contacts that lead to infections," Abe said.

Despite being a neighbor of China, where the new coronavirus appeared, Japan has so far been much less affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than Europe or the United States. The archipelago registered some 3,650 cases and 73 deaths on Sunday, according to a last official balance.

The number of cases has increased significantly since two weeks ago, mainly in Tokyo, where 148 new infections were registered on Sunday, a new local record.

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