“We can’t see our friends or go out drinking. However, such (staying at home) actions are saving many lives and relieves the strain on healthcare professionals who are facing very challenging circumstances,” tweeted Abe. “Thanks to every single individual for their cooperation.”
Abe’s tweet urging people to stay at home comes as large parts of Japan entered a first weekend under a state of emergency.
The number of confirmed cases has spiked in recent days, after it appeared that Japan’s initial response had brought the virus relatively under control. As of Monday, at least 7,967 cases have been reported across the country, including 712 cases linked to the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, according to Japan’s health ministry.