TOKYO Japan said Wednesday it will extend the entry ban to foreigners who have recently been in Zhejiang Province or whose passports were issued by the province, effective Thursday, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the decision at a meeting of a government task force dealing with the virus outbreak. “Things are changing from moment to moment. It is imperative to take more comprehensive and flexible border control measures to prevent further inflow of the virus into Japan,” Abe told the meeting.
Since February 1, Japan has denied entry to foreign nationals who have been in Hubei Province, whose capital of Wuhan is the epicenter of the outbreak, within the last 14 days or holders of Hubei issued passports. Zhejiang is located east of Hubei.
Referring to virus tests on passengers and crew members aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked at the Japanese port of Yokohama, the premier also said the government plans to increase the capacity of virus testing from about 300 per day to at least 1,000. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday that another 40 people including a quarantine officer on board the vessel have been found to be infected with the virus, bringing the total number of passengers and crew infected on the cruise ship to 174.
With some 3,700 passengers and crew members from 56 countries and regions, the cruise ship has been kept in quarantine in Yokohama after an 80 year old man from Hong Kong was found to be infected with the virus on January 25.
Source: Kuwait News Agency