• Kyodo

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The Cabinet will approve emergency measures this week against the new coronavirus to strengthen screenings and financial support the tourism industry, a source close to the matter said.

Under the measures, the government aims to increase medical facilities that can conduct the polymerase chain reaction test, which can detect the virus with high accuracy, and promote joint public-private development of a testing kit that can shorten waiting times.

The steps are also designed to speed up the development of drugs and vaccines against the deadly virus, while a special center will be set up to swiftly respond to queries about it and provide information on how to prevent infection, the source said Saturday.

The government plans to launch an aid program to help small and midsize hotels and companies in other sectors facing financing problems from the drop in tourism. It may also establish a liaison office to give directions to ministries.

The government will tap reserve funds in the fiscal 2019 state budget to fund the measures. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party made similar proposals regarding the virus to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday.

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