Japan PM Shinzo Abe extends lockdown till May 31

WION Web Team Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan May 04, 2020, 03.19 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Japan Photograph:( AFP )

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Japan has reported 15,000 COVID-19 infections with 510 deaths.

Japan on Monday extended the lockdown due to coronavirus to May 31 with PM Shinzo Abe declaring that it "covered all prefectures in the nation".

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"I will extend the period of the state of emergency I declared on April 7 until May 31," PM Abe said, adding,"The number of new cases has declined, but unfortunately the decrease has not reached the targeted level."

Japan has reported 15,000 COVID-19 infections with 510 deaths. 

"As the healthcare sector remains under pressure, we need continued cooperation from people," the prime minister said.

On Friday, Japanese stocks had closed down amid concerns over tensions between the US and China. The Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.84 per cent to end at 19,619.35, while the broader Topix index lost 2.24 per cent even as the virus continued to keep the country in shutdown. The markets are closed today due to a holiday.

The citizens have been told to stay indoors even as the country battles the virus with authorities cautious over a second wave of infections. With the health services under pressure with health workers still to carry out adequate amount of tests with the country facing a shortage of resources.

Japan's parliament last week passed an emergency budget worth around $240 billion, including cash handouts for every resident to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as the country sought to prop up its economy badly hit due to the virus.

The budget has made huge provisions for handouts with half of it going towards cash payment. It is part of a larger stimulus of $1 million which the Abe government had announced last month.