• Jiji


More day care and short-stay facilities for the elderly have shut since the emergency declaration for the coronavirus crisis was expanded nationwide on April 16, the health ministry says.

Those suspended during the week through last Sunday numbered 858, accounting for 1.13 percent of all day care and short-stay facilities across Japan, the ministry said Friday. That's up from 503 facilities a week before.

Of the 858, 843 shut voluntarily to avoid COVID-19 infection. Of the rest, two followed prefectural requests and 13 closed due to labor shortages that worsened after the central government's request for school closures.

The ministry is asking day care providers to keep their facilities open as much as possible.

By prefecture, the ratio for temporary closures was highest in Tottori at 4.80 percent, followed by Yamagata at 4.12 percent. In Tokyo, which has the largest number of day care facilities, the ratio was 2.34 percent, surpassing the national average.

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