Japan's leader calls for monthlong closure of schools due to virus threat

Japan's leader calls for monthlong closure of schools due to virus threat
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that all of Japan's elementary, junior high and high schools will be asked to close from March 2 until the end of their school year at the end of March amid growing fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reports.

The decision comes after a woman in Osaka became the first person in Japan and one of the few people in the world to be diagnosed with the coronavirus for a second time. Osaka officials said that they will close all public all public elementary, junior high and high schools for two weeks starting Saturday in an attempt to control the deadly virus.

Japanese schools traditionally resume classes in April after a break.

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According to Reuters, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Japan has risen to more than 200. Hokkaido, Japan's main northern island, reported 13 new cases.

Large public gatherings and sporting events have also been put on hold for two weeks across the country.

The government has pledged, despite growing rumors, that the Summer Olympics, scheduled to take place in Tokyo in July, would not be canceled.