Abe Asks People to Take Sick Leave to Prevent Virus Spread

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he wants people to take off from work or school and refrain from going out when they have cold-like symptoms such as fever, in order to prevent any further spread of the new coronavirus from China.

Abe made the remark at a meeting of the government's headquarters led by him to deal with the virus situation. He also called for large-scale events to be put off as needed.

Taking leave when feeling unwell is "an important action to help prevent the spread of the virus," Abe said. "It is also important to create an environment in which students and employees find it easier to take sick leave," Abe also said, calling on schools and companies to take a flexible approach, such as introducing a teleworking system.

He instructed ministers who participated in the meeting to see to it that reviews are made as needed on the timing of holding large events and that relevant information is provided promptly and appropriately.

Also on Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference that hotlines set up across the nation for returnees from China's Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and people who had contact with those infected with the virus had received a total of 4,885 requests for consultations by Sunday. Of the total, 126 cases were referred to designated outpatient facilities, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press