Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered closure of all elementary, junior high, and high schools across Japan until April as the coronavirus situation worsens.
“Efforts have been made to prevent the spread of infection among children in each region, and these one or two weeks will be an extremely critical period,” Abe told a meeting of key Cabinet ministers on the coronavirus outbreak crisis. The government attaches the top priority to the health and safety of children, among others,” he said.
This surprise announcement came as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan kept surging, exceeding over 200 across the country as of Thursday evening.
Over 1600 elementary and junior high schools in Hokkaido decided to close for a week on the same day in an effort to prevent the outbreak of the virus.
“We will make our best efforts to prevent further spread of infection to protect the lives and health of the people in Hokkaido,” mentioned Gov. Naomichi Suzuki during a prefectural assembly session.
A special class on infectious diseases will be held at all elementary and junior high schools in Hokkaido on March 5th.