Japanese govt. eyes disease control law revision

The Japanese government is aiming to revise the infectious disease control law in order to grant local governments the legal authority to ask people infected with the coronavirus to self-quarantine.

Public health centers are currently asking people who have been infected to share information, such as possible infection routes, and to self-quarantine at home or a designated accommodation facility.

But a growing number are reportedly refusing to cooperate.

The government hopes a revision to the law will help solve the problem.

It is now considering adding provisions that would serve as legal grounds for prefectural governors to ask infected people to self-quarantine.

If they refuse to follow the request, the governors can ask them to check into a hospital and pay for costs themselves.

The government is also expected to study whether the planned revision should set penalties for those who refuse to be hospitalized and those who either lie on or refuse to answer public health center surveys.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said on Thursday that the government will solicit ruling and opposition parties for opinions and work to submit a revision to a coming Diet session. The next parliamentary session will convene on January 18.