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People's Daily Online

Japan to include U.S. in foreign entry ban to curb imported COVID-19 cases

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:13, March 31, 2020

TOKYO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Japan plans to extend its ban on foreign entrants to cover those who have recently been to the United States, China and South Korea and most parts of Europe in bid to curb the import and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, state sources said on Monday.

The entry ban will be applicable to foreigners who have stayed in the countries within two weeks of arriving in Japan, the sources said, adding that both Japanese and foreigners returning from areas not subjected to the ban will still be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Japan's foreign ministry is also planning to raise its travel advisory for the United States to Level 3, which warns its citizens to "avoid all travel."

The same advisory will be made for travel to China, South Korea and the majority of Europe, including Britain, the ministry said.

While the United States has overtaken Italy and China to become the country worst-hit by the pandemic, Japan for the time being has been relatively sheltered, although recent surges in cases in urban areas have prompted the government to take preventative measures against importing cases.

Japan reported 1,926 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 6:30 p.m. local time on Monday, with the death toll from the pneumonia-causing virus currently standing at a total of 67 people, including those from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, close to Tokyo.

The health ministry also said there are currently a total of 65 patients considered severely ill and are on ventilators to receive respiratory assistance or have been admitted to intensive care units for medical treatment.

The ministry added that in total, 975 people have been discharged from hospitals after their symptoms improved, according to the latest statistics.

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