Japan launches emergency anti-coronavirus package

The Japanese government has launched a 136-million-dollar package to fight the coronavirus outbreak. It includes funds for the development of a vaccine and treatment for the illness caused by the virus.

The emergency plan was approved on Thursday at a task force meeting attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his full Cabinet.

The plan will strengthen systems at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases to increase its capacity to test samples. It will support the development of treatments for serious cases.

The government will also provide essential financial support to prefectures to establish outpatient services for people suspected of being infected.

The government will work with the private sector to develop basic test kits, anti-virus drugs and vaccines as part of efforts to develop methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The plan includes economic support for smaller businesses, such as tourism firms, which are temporarily suffering from a fall in business.

About 4.5 billion dollars will be set aside by the government-owned Japan Finance Corporation and other entities for emergency loans and loan guarantees.