• Kyodo

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Nonessential travel between Osaka and Hyogo prefectures should be avoided during the long weekend amid the spread of the new coronavirus, their governors said Thursday.

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters the request is based on emergency steps proposed by state health experts to prevent the pneumonia-causing virus from spreading further.

“I think an explosive spread can happen anytime in Hyogo Prefecture. Since the number of infected people has also been increasing in Osaka, we have to be on alert,” Yoshimura said.

Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido said at a news conference he is requesting that residents refrain from traveling between the two neighboring prefectures.

As of Thursday, 119 people were confirmed to be infected with the virus in Osaka Prefecture. More cases have also been reported at medical institutions and elsewhere in Hyogo.

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