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Japan to enable isolation of infected people during quarantine

  • February 13, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 7:15 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Feb. 13 (Jiji Press)–Japan will revise an ordinance to enable the isolation of those infected or suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus during quarantine, the health ministry said Thursday.

The revision, seen taking effect Friday, will also allow authorities to conduct compulsory hospitalization of infected people with no symptoms.

The government decided on the revision after a group infection and infected people without symptoms were found on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, near Tokyo.

Under the revised ordinance, authorities will be able to isolate infected people through hospitalization and make people suspected of being infected stay at designated facilities, during the quarantine procedures before they enter the country.

 As people with no symptoms will be subject to the compulsory hospitalization measure, the government will cover their medical costs.

Passengers and crew members aboard the ship are kept in effective isolation because they are not allowed to get off until the end of the quarantine period from Feb. 3, after a man who had left the ship in Hong Kong was found infected with the virus.

The government is asking passengers to stay inside their rooms. But there are no legal grounds to make them do so.

On Feb. 1, Japan put into effect ordinances designating the coronavirus infection as a specified infectious disease under the infectious disease law and a quarantinable infectious disease under the quarantine law.

The designations have allowed authorities to conduct compulsory hospitalization of infected people and make people arriving from abroad take screenings during quarantine.

But the authorities are not allowed to take compulsory measures for people without symptoms or isolate people arriving from abroad during quarantine.

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