Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has requested that residents of the capital — with a population of more than 13 million — isolate themselves until May 6, starting at midnight Tuesday, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The move came in the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s declaration of a state of emergency earlier in the day and after Tokyo reported 80 additional cases, bringing the total in the capital to 1,196.
This is the first of three “requests” the governor is capable of issuing under the law now that Abe has declared a national emergency, according to officials. If the governor moves on to the second level, she can publicly identify those who don’t comply. Under the third and highest level, she can issue a “directive” to residents and businesses.
Still, officials said, the governor does not have the legal right to punish those who don’t comply.
“Stay home,” Koike said during a news conference Tuesday. “I’ve said it countless times now. We must take the action necessary to protect our own lives, the lives of our family and loved ones and those around us.”
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