Japan confirms 35 new virus cases, total at 711

TOKYO Japan confirmed 35 more cases of the coronavirus as of 23:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) on Friday, bringing the total number of infections across the country to 711, excluding 697 people who were aboard the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship, the authorities said. The death toll reached 21, excluding seven from the cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February, according to the health ministry and local governments.

Among the country’s 47 prefectures, the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, which has been under a state of emergency, reported the most cases at 137. Aichi in central Japan confirmed 114, followed by Osaka in western Japan with 92 and Tokyo with 77.

On Friday, Japan’s parliament approved legislation authorizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency if needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The bill passed the Upper House after it cleared the Lower House on the previous day. If the prime minister declares a state of emergency, local governments can require residents to stay indoors, close schools and cancel or postpone large-scale events.

The pneumonia-like disease, known as COVID-19, originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Source: Kuwait News Agency