Japan drafts plan against coronavirus
NHK -- Feb 25
Japan's government has drafted a basic policy on the coronavirus in a bid to stem the number of new cases.

The draft plan is based on discussions by a group of experts on Monday. The government plans an official announcement on Tuesday.

The plan calls on individuals and businesses to take a range of steps to prevent the spread of infections. They include asking people to take days off and stay home if they have a fever and other cold symptoms.

The plan does not demand that each and every event be postponed or cancelled. But it asks event organizers to carefully consider whether to go ahead with their plans.

Currently, when new cases emerge, authorities investigate the route of transmission while keeping an eye on those who had close contact with the infected person.

The plan says if the number of cases continues to rise, authorities should shift their focus to asking the public to stay indoors.

The plan also envisions the use of medical facilities in addition to those already designated, to address an increase in the number of people believed to be infected.

The government is currently asking people who believe they are infected to contact designated medical institutions.

Under the draft plan, the government will enable the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions to get a prescription by talking to doctors by phone, in order to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.

At Monday's meeting, experts said the next few weeks will be a crucial time for Japan to contain the spread of infections.

They warned that Japan could see a rapid increase in new cases, given the recent emergence of cases in which it's unclear when and how patients were infected.

The experts also raised concerns about the number of hospital beds in the Tokyo metropolitan area, many of which are being used by passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

News source: NHK
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