Japan Govt to Supply Masks to Virus-Hit Hokkaido

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 1 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided on Sunday to supply face masks to residents in areas in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, including the city of Kitami, where infections with the new coronavirus are spreading at an alarming pace.

The decision was made at a meeting of the government's headquarters in response to the viral outbreak.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed participating cabinet ministers to compile a second batch of emergency measures to cope with the situation by March 10.

The prefectural government of Hokkaido declared a state of emergency over the virus on Friday, asking residents to refrain from going out. As of Sunday, 72 people were confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus in Hokkaido, including eight in Kitami.

"Hokkaido in particular sees a growing need for face masks to prevent infection, so the state will distribute masks it buys in large quantities to residents in municipalities where infections are spreading," Abe said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press