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Japan to step up precautions against China coronavirus

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday Japan will step up precautions against a new coronavirus believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The government will request airlines to make flight announcements urging passengers arriving in Japan from China to report if they are feeling unwell. "We will make utmost efforts to prevent the spread of infections," Abe told a Diet session.
Health minister Katsunobu Kato said separately that the country will test samples collected from people suspected to be infected with the virus not just at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases but at clinical laboratories across Japan.
The government also raised its infectious disease advisory level for the Chinese city of Wuhan to two from one, urging its citizens to avoid non-urgent trips to the place considered the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak.
The disease has killed 17 and infected nearly 600 people.
Democratic Republic of Congo, hit by an Ebola outbreak, is the only other destination for which Japan holds the same travel advisory level, a foreign ministry official said.
In the scale of one to four, the level one advisory asks travelers to take sufficient caution. A level 4 advisory urges citizens not to travel to the area and those who are already in the region to evacuate.


© Thomson Reuters 2020.
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