In another desperate measure to curb the heightening coronavirus spread in Japan, authorities are now mulling to impose “harsher punishments” on violators such as prison sentences and hefty fines. Japan recently reported a never seen before the third strain of coronavirus leaving authorities flinching to stop its spread. On January 15, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare met to discuss more stringent measures as overall cases climbed to 302,623 with over 4,233 people dead, as per tally by John Hopkins University.
New COVID-19 restrictions
As per the Kyodo news agency, the Yoshihide Suga led administration earlier floated a revision of infectious disease law to crack down on flouters of restrictions measures. The health officials largely approved the rules proposed by the Suga government, the news agency reported. As per the regulations, those refusing to be hospitalized would face a maximum fine of 1 million yen ($ 9,600) or a prison sentence of up to one year while people who hamper contact tracing effort can expect a maximum fine of 500,000 yen or jail time of up to six months, the agency reported.
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Earlier this week, the Japanese government decided to expand its state of emergency to Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo. The three prefectures had asked the central government to expand the state of emergency in order to contain the outbreak. Japan has already declared a state of emergency for Tokyo until February 7.
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According to Japan Times reports, Aichi and Gifu prefectures are also mulling over sending a request to the centre to impose a state of emergency. Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura said that he will be working with Gifu authorities and ask the central government to expand the emergency declaration. Omura also said that he will be arranging an online conference with Japanese economic revitalisation minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is also overseeing the government’s response against the COVID-19 virus.
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