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Japan PM Abe declares state of emergency over virus

British PM had oxygen support, not on ventilator: minister

"As I decided that a situation feared to gravely affect people's lives and the economy has occurred... I am declaring a state of emergency," Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said while declaring a state emergency to curb the ravaging spread of the coronavirus in the Asian country.

Abe declared a month-long state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures to ramp up defenses against the spread of the COVID-19.

The Japanese PM said there would be no European-style lockdowns. The state of emergency will empower Tokyo's Governor Yuriko Koike and heads of six other designated prefectures to urge people to stay inside and to call for businesses to close.

All of those measures will be requests that cannot be enforced with penalties for violations.
In Europe, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent the night in intensive care with a deteriorating case of coronavirus, has been given oxygen but is not on a ventilator, a minister said.

"The prime minister has received some oxygen support," senior cabinet minister Michael Gove told LBC radio, adding that "he has not been on a ventilator" but it was there if needed.

British Foreign secretary Dominic Raab will be leading the UK government response to the coronavirus while Johnson is in hospital.

Generally in Europe, there are indications that the pace of infections in hard-hit Spain and Italy is slowing, although the death toll continues to rise.

Globally, the number of people diagnosed with the virus now exceeds 1.3 million. More than 74,500 people have died while nearly 285,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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