Japan to ban entry of travelers from US, Europe, China, South Korea

Tokyo, Mar 30 (efe-epa).- Japanese authorities plan to ban the entry of foreigners who have recently visited the United States, most parts of Europe, China and South Korea, and some parts of Southeast Asia as a measure to contain Japan’s spread of the novel coronavirus.

The ban will apply to those who have visited one of the designated regions in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Japan, state broadcaster NHK reported.

Japanese citizens returning from these places can enter the country but will need to be under quarantine for two weeks.

The information did not specify when the measure would come into effect.

Japan has already banned the entry of people who have recently visited countries that have been severely affected by the coronavirus, including 21 European countries – among them Italy and Spain – as well as Iran, certain areas of China and South Korea.

Until now, the Japanese archipelago only required visitors who had been to the US to undergo quarantine, but the extensive spread of the virus in the North American country – which currently has the highest number of confirmed cases ahead of Italy and China – have led Japan to decide to tighten its restrictions.

There are already more than 720,000 documented global cases of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, with nearly 34,000 deaths.

Japan has diagnosed relatively few cases, but in recent days it has experienced a sharp increase, mainly in Tokyo and its surrounding regions.

The Japanese government has so far reported 2,578 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the archipelago – including 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise liner – and 64 deaths. More than 700 infections were diagnosed in the past week.

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura died overnight at age 70 from pneumonia caused by COVID-19, his agency announced on Monday.

Shimura was hospitalized on Mar. 20 at a Tokyo hospital and became the first figure in the Japanese entertainment sector to make his condition public.

Another public figure who is known to have contracted the coronavirus is vice-president of the Japan Olympic Committee and head of Japanese Football Association, Kozo Tashima, 62. EFE-EPA


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