Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a monthlong state of emergency in Tokyo and six other parts of the country over a spike in coronavirus cases.
"As I decided that a situation feared to gravely affect people's lives and the economy has occurred... I am declaring a state of emergency," Abe said.
Abe said that there would be no European-style lockdowns. The state of emergency will only permit Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and heads of six other designated prefectures to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing. Virtually all of those measures will be requests that cannot be enforced with penalties for violations.
The COVID-19 outbreak is now rampant and rapidly spreading, threatening people's health, their daily lives and the economy. Abe said he planned to keep the state of emergency in place for a month, until May 6.
Tokyo has seen coronavirus infections more than double to 1,116 in the past week, accounting for the highest number of patients in the country. Nationwide, cases have climbed past 4,000 with 93 deaths as of Monday.
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