Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday has officially declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus in major population centers and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world's biggest to soften the economic blow.

Speaking at a news conference to seek public support for his decision, Abe emphasized the need to reduce contact with people by 70 to 80 percent and said that Olympics-related facilities will be transformed into medical facilities to accommodate 800 coronavirus patients with mild symptoms.

He also spoke about plans to triple the current stockpile of anti-flu drug, Avigan to treat 2 million people.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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