April 7: COVID-19 round-up
- After weeks of pressure from public health officials and lawmakers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used a news conference Monday to announce that he will declare a state of emergency as soon as Tuesday. The measure will cover Tokyo, Osaka and five prefectures and last about a month as Japan looks to tamp down its increasingly worrisome COVID-19 outbreak.
- But Abe also used the news conference to emphasize his government’s plans to roll out an unprecedented stimulus package — one equivalent to a whopping 20 percent of economic output — to battle the deepening fallout from the crisis.
- At a leading hospital in Tokyo, eighteen residents have tested positive for the virus after around 40 trainees ignored repeated calls not to join large gatherings and attended a dinner party, the hospital said Monday.
- This comes after a Japanese doctor treating COVID-19 patients in New York — a hotspot of infections — issued a strong warning over the situation in Tokyo, saying that Japan’s capital now “looks like” New York two to three weeks ago.
- Meanwhile, in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson — the first leader of a leading power to be diagnosed with the virus — was moved to an intensive care unit on Monday after his symptoms worsened.