06:13 GMT20 September 2020
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    Novel Coronavirus: Number of COVID-19 Infections Exceeds 1.5 Mln Globally (87)
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    This week, Japan introduced a state of emergency in its major population centres, including Tokyo, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With around 6,700 cases of coronavirus registered in the country as on 12 April, the governors strongly advised their citizens to observe self-isolation rules.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced a severe backlash from some Twitter users after sharing a video response to the song of a popular music star, Gen Hoshino, which features the politician relaxing at home with his dog, drinking tea, reading and watching TV.

    Tweet: I can't meet friends. No drinking party. However, these actions have surely saved many lives. And, at this moment, it will also reduce the burden on healthcare professionals who are struggling in the most demanding settings. Thank you for your cooperation.

    ​Abe’s clip purported to call upon citizens to stay at home during coronavirus pandemic and ease the burden on the national health system, but some of the twitterians did not enjoy the way his message was delivered at all. Many were particularly annoyed by the fact that the politician showed himself “relaxing at home”, while the country was dealing with coronavirus pandemic and many citizens were experiencing financial difficulties following its outbreak.

    “I don't know who produced it, but I'm angry”, was one of the messages under the video.

    Tweet: The prime minister, what he needs to do to keep his people at home is not to show a video of himself relaxing at home gracefully, but to protect the people's lives with benefits and compensation and stay at home with peace of mind. Isn't that so?

    Tweet: It is elegant. There are many people who think they can be strangled with dead cotton and crazy. Playing with your dog comfortably, sipping tea, watching boring TV. What if you were to go to a hospital that is on the front lines and see it?

    Some of Abe’s followers, however, thanked the prime minister for his collaboration with the musician, who invited his fans to dance indoors, and found his engagement with social media to be particularly touching.

    “Thanks to Mr. Abe's response, only Japan has low levels of infected and dead people. It will be hard every day, but decent people are supporting Abe!”, one of the Twitter users wrote in Japanese.

    On Tuesday, Abe introduced a state of emergency in several Japanese prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, following an alarming trend of coronavirus cases in major urban centres. Prefectural governors then strongly advised their citizens to follow self-isolation measures and stay at home until 6 May, although stressed that according to the law, no legal punishments could be introduced for non-compliance with the measures. Around 6,700 cases of coronavirus have been registered in Japan as of 12 April, with 108 deaths reported so far.

    Novel Coronavirus: Number of COVID-19 Infections Exceeds 1.5 Mln Globally (87)
    Tokyo, Twitter, coronavirus, COVID-19, Shinzo Abe, Japan
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