Japan expands coronavirus emergency nationwide amid spike in cases

WION Web Team Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Apr 16, 2020, 05.27 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Japan Photograph:( AFP )

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Osaka's Mayor Ichiro Matsui appealed to his countrymen to donate raincoats of 'any colour' for hospital workers as they struggled to get protective gear amid rising number of cases

Japan on Thursday expanded the coronavirus emergency to the whole country covering all prefectures.

"Areas where a state of emergency should be carried out will be expanded from the seven prefectures to all prefectures," Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said.

The Japanese prime minister had earlier declared emergency in seven regions which included the capital Tokyo. The government had declared a state of emergency after medical experts warned the disease could grow exponentially if people did not stay inside.

The country which was due to host the Olympics in July postponed it to 2021 amid pressure from authorities as virus cases began to spike.

Japan recorded over 830 cases of coronavirus with Tokyo reporting 2,171 cases last week. There have been 8,100 COVID-19 infections and 119 deaths so far in the country since the first case emerged in January.

Amid the rising number of cases, medical supplies have been in short supply in the country with reports indicating Kanagawa prefecture calling on residents to donate thermometers and the lack of proper protective clothing in Osaka which shocked the nation as reports said several health workers were forced to wear garbage bags.

Osaka's Mayor Ichiro Matsui appealed to his countrymen to donate raincoats of "any colour" for hospital workers as they struggled to get protective gear amid rising number of cases.