The government may use all of its ¥270 billion in contingency funding from this current fiscal year to help mitigate the economic fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak in a second emergency package, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

Abe's announcement came after he faced harsh criticism that his handling of the virus crisis had been "too little, too late," with observers saying that it could even pose an existential threat to the longevity of his administration. Until today Abe had pledged to spend only ¥15.3 billion in total.

"We are hoping to make use of the fund as much as possible," Abe told lawmakers during an Upper House budget committee debate, adding that the government was considering whether to use all of its reserve funds for fiscal 2019, which runs through the end of March.