Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday asked all elementary, junior high and high schools nationwide to close from Monday through the students’ spring break, which typically ends in early April.

“Efforts have been made to prevent the spread of infection among children in each region, and these one or two weeks will be an extremely critical period,” Abe told a meeting of key Cabinet ministers on the coronavirus outbreak crisis.

“The government attaches the top priority to the health and safety of children, among others,” he said.   Later Thursday, the health and welfare ministry said Abe’s request does not apply to day care centers for children and after-school facilities for elementary school students.

Read more…