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(Update) Japan Decides to Put 7 More Prefs. under Virus Emergency

(Update) Japan Decides to Put 7 More Prefs. under Virus Emergency

   Tokyo, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Wednesday decided to expand a novel coronavirus state of emergency it declared for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures last week to cover seven more prefectures.
   The emergency, under which eating and drinking establishments are requested by prefectural governors to close by 8 p.m., is set to take effect Thursday in the seven prefectures. Facilities that accept the requests will get up to 60,000 yen in aid per day, while the names of noncompliant businesses may be disclosed.
   The coronavirus emergency will thus cover 11 of Japan's 47 prefectures. The seven new prefectures are Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo in the Kansai western region, Aichi and Gifu in the Tokai central region, Fukuoka in southwestern Japan and Tochigi in eastern Japan. They will join Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, already under the emergency.
   The state of emergency, based on the special measures law related to the fight against the virus, began in the Tokyo metropolitan area Friday. It is slated to run until Feb. 7 for all of the 11 prefectures.
   The government decided on the expansion at a meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters Wednesday, judging that the seven prefectures are seeing surges in new infection cases and that the local medical systems are under strain.

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