Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On February 13, 2020, the Prime Minister held the eighth meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters at the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the meeting, a discussion was held on the response to the novel coronavirus.
Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,
“The Government has exerted every effort in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus infections, including border controls and preventive measures for the virus in Japan. Nevertheless, taking fully into account the concerns among the public, it is necessary to strengthen our responses.
Firstly, as the regions subject to the immigration restrictions in accordance with the Immigration Control and Refugee Act have been expanded today, among other factors, we will designate, from tomorrow, the novel coronavirus as an infection subject to quarantine or detention in accordance with the Quarantine Act with a government ordinance to ensure the thorough prevention of infections. Furthermore, disease carriers who have no symptoms will be subject to hospitalization and eligible to receive publicly-funded medical treatment.
Additionally, under the principle of prioritizing the protection of the lives and health of the public and implementing necessary measures without hesitation, as the first step, we have compiled a set of emergency measures that we need to implement urgently at this moment.
To begin with, we will fundamentally strengthen the screening structures at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the 83 Public Health Institutes throughout Japan. The Government will work on border controls in a concerted and well-prepared manner, such as the strengthening of the screening functions of the quarantine stations across Japan and the improvement of the structure of the health follow-up center. At the same time, we will strongly support research and development both in Japan and abroad for a rapid diagnostic kit, which is urgently needed, anti-viral medicine, a vaccine and other necessities.
Preparing for future infections, we will extend supports to secure over 1,800 beds among medical institutions across Japan that are capable of accommodating patients. We will also work in advance to strengthen treatment mechanism through supporting the establishment of outpatient facilities and consultation centers for individuals returning to Japan and those who have been in contact with the patients in each prefecture.
We will implement measures to secure a stable supply of face masks, which have been in limited supply throughout Japan. We intend to expand the production of face masks to over 600 million a month by next month, twice last month’s supply, through measures such as assisting the introduction of new production equipment for businesses cooperating with efforts to increase supply. .
We also need to respond to the impacts to industries such as tourism. We intend to provide timely and accurate information to domestic and foreign travelers, including providing those who are planning on visiting Japan or traveling in Japan with accurate information through the Japan National Tourism Organization, travel associations and other relevant entities.
We will make all-out efforts to support financing of local micro, small and medium enterprises and others in tourism and other sectors, by securing a total of 500 billion yen for emergency lending and loan guarantees at the Japan Finance Corporation and other institutions.
In addition, we will strengthen international cooperation through measures such as donating virus samples successfully isolated at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases overseas for research and development purposes, and providing medical equipment and other items to countries throughout Asia.
For these measures, we will secure total of 15.3 billion yen as the first step by disbursing 10.3 billion yen from contingency funds, through a Cabinet decision to be made tomorrow, along with the steady execution of this fiscal year’s budget.
I ask you to implement these emergency measures immediately.
Today as well, new cases of infection were confirmed. The Government will continue to work as one to start implementing measures to address its impact on Japanese companies steadily, along with domestic preventive measures and border controls.”