Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On February 27, 2020, the Prime Minister held the 14th meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters at the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the meeting, a discussion was held on the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,
As outlined in the basic policies that we have decided the day before yesterday, it is of extreme importance to prevent one patient cluster to create another cluster so as to contain the outbreak swiftly. To that end, I believe we should implement through measures.
Hokkaido will close all the public elementary and junior high schools from tomorrow. The city of Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, will also close all the public schools in the city. While local efforts are being made to prevent outbreaks among children, the next one to two weeks will be of critical importance.
In light of that, putting health and safety of children first above all, the Government will ask all elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools as well as special needs schools to close temporarily from March 2, next week, until spring break, from the standpoint of allowing many children, teachers and school staff to address the risk of infection caused by staying together for long hours every day.
At the same time, there might be schools that have not finished its entrance examination or graduation ceremony. When holding such occasions, we would like to ask them to take all possible measures such as implementing measures to prevent infections and limiting the number of participants.
We also continue to ask government offices and private companies to create an environment such that their respective staff can easily take a leave as well as give due consideration to the circumstances facing parents with children. The government will responsively address to various issues caused by these measures.
Furthermore, as there have been cases surged in specific places such as fitness club, I instruct you to immediately compile relevant countermeasures, seeking advice from experts on necessary responses to reduce the risk of infection in these places.
Last but not the least, there is also a concern over further outbreaks of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of that, I instruct you to urgently prepare a bill necessary to enhance the effectiveness of measures that are already in place as well as control the spread of infection and minimize the impacts to daily lives and the economy.”