Japan urges citizens to isolate as reports warn of 400,000 deaths

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Japan urged its citizens on Wednesday to stay home, as media reports warned that as many as 400,000 of them could die of the coronavirus without urgent action, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under pressure to hand out more cash.

Reports in Japanese media citing an undisclosed health ministry projection said fatalities could reach the 400,000 mark without mitigation measures. It also estimated that as many as 850,000 people could need ventilators.

The measures include a request that people isolate and businesses close, although there are no fines or penalties to force compliance.

The government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, urged people to do everything in their power to help the government reach its target.

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