Japan has committed to boosting testing and containment measures for the new coronavirus after confirming its first death, as well as new cases.
The country’s first casualty was a woman in her 80s in Kanagawa prefecture, Tokyo. The patient was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 after death.
This fatality takes the number of deaths outside mainland China to three, including one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
On 13 February, the Japanese health ministry confirmed the country’s 30th case of coronavirus infection.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We will stay in touch with local governments and expand our testing procedures and treatment of patients in order to prevent the spread.”
A task force is working to strengthen the country’s measures against the virus, including JPY10.3bn ($93.8m) in funding.
In a separate development, approximately 200 Japanese evacuees who returned from Wuhan on a second plane tested negative and left quarantine.