After much deliberation, the Japanese government has finally declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures following a spike in new Covid-19 coronavirus cases. Previous attempts to control the spread of the coronavirus involved the closure of schools and tourist attractions such as museums and parks, the cancellation of major events, and an urgent request for all Tokyo citizens to stay at home as much as possible. However, it seems more drastic measures are necessary to successfully stop the virus from spreading further.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the state of emergency will last for a month until the end of Golden Week on May 6 and will apply to seven prefectures: Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Hyogo and Fukuoka.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has previously said that, during a state of emergency, essential businesses such as supermarkets will remain open, as well as the public transport system. People will still be able to buy food and medicine as well as visit the hospital. While there will be no penalties for leaving your home for other reasons, the government has stressed that public cooperation is paramount in keeping the outbreak under control.
Businesses being asked to close include karaoke parlours, nightlife venues, childcare facilities, schools and other non-essential leisure facilities.
This is a developing story and the article will be updated as more details are announced.
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