Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to declare a nationwide state of emergency in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus in Japan, a government official said Thursday.

Currently, Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures are placed under the declaration.

The declaration, based on a revised law enacted last month, has given the governors of the seven prefectures the power to call for school and some business closures until this year's Golden Week holidays end on May 6. <full story>