Japan and South Korea tighten borders as US faces up to 200,000 Covid-19 deaths
Japan and South Korea are poised to tighten restrictions on overseas visitors in renewed efforts to prevent “imported” cases of the coronavirus, as American authorities warned that the US could face 200,000 deaths.
Japan will expand its entry ban to include people travelling from the US, China, South Korea and most of Europe, local media reported on Monday. The measure will apply to foreign nationals who have been to any of the listed regions within 14 days of arriving in Japan.
Japanese citizens – irrespective of where they have travelled to – and foreigners who have travelled outside the banned areas will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and watch for symptoms of Covid-19, Kyodo news agency quoted sources as saying.
The government may also ban entry from, and travel to, some countries in south-east Asia and Africa, the Asahi newspaper said, citing a few government sources. Japan has already imposed an entry ban on arrivals from affected areas of China and South Korea, as well as more than 20 countries.
The US is now at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic. In a press briefing on Sunday, Donald Trump said it would be “a very good job” if the country could keep deaths to 100,000 after Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said the nation could see 200,000 deaths.
Trump extended social distancing rules until 30 April and said he hoped normality would return by 1 June. On Sunday New York state passed a grim milestone, recording its 1,000th death.
The US president also undermined his plea for unity by uttering falsehoods, verbally abusing reporters and implying health care workers were stealing masks, without providing evidence.