Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday ordered his government to promptly draw up a basic policy to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Japan.
Abe told a government task force to build a system to provide necessary medical services focused on preventing people infected with the pneumonia-causing virus from becoming seriously ill.
According to Abe, the basic policy will involve providing information to the public and companies, as well as implementing measures to curb the spread of infection and provide medical services to patients.
"Curbing the speed of an increase in the number of patients is extremely important to contain an epidemic," he said, citing rising cases of infection from unknown routes in multiple regions of the country.
Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato will lead the work to draft the policy. He said earlier that the policy will be announced possibly on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Abe requested the authorities to step up monitoring the health conditions of people who have disembarked from the Diamond Princess, a coronavirus-hit cruise ship docked in Yokohama, after they tested negative for the virus.
As of Sunday afternoon, more than 770 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Japan. Most of them are passengers and crew members of the quarantined vessel.