TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday vowed to make full efforts to contain the new coronavirus after a series of infection cases reported from many parts of Japan.
“We’ll significantly strengthen our screening systems in cooperation with local governments,” Abe told a meeting of a government task force to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
“We’ll do all we can to expand and enhance medical and consultation services” to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 infections, Abe added.
Earlier in the day, health minister Katsunobu Kato said on television that coronavirus infections inside Japan are increasing.
Abe also said the government will make its utmost efforts to realize the early return home of four Japanese passengers on the cruise ship Westerdam.
The Westerdam docked in Cambodia last week after being refused entry by some countries including Japan due to a suspected coronavirus outbreak on the ship.
In China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, there remain dozens of Japanese nationals and members of their families hoping to return to Japan after the government’s evacuation operations that involved four charter planes.
The fifth government-chartered plane is set to leave for Wuhan on Sunday night, carrying relief supplies for China, such as goggles and protective suits. The plane is expected to return to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda on Monday morning.
The fifth flight will put the evacuation operations to an end. The first plane was dispatched Jan. 28.