Japan expands entry ban to more countries, will ask all visitors to quarantine

A man walks near a sight saying ‘Please do not go out unless it is absolutely necessary’ in the empty Asakusa district on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP)
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Updated 01 April 2020

Japan expands entry ban to more countries, will ask all visitors to quarantine

  • Number of countries was increased by 49, including the United States, China and South Korea

TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday the government was expanding a ban on the entry of non-Japanese people to cover 73 countries as policymakers try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of countries was increased by 49, including the United States, China and South Korea, he said.
Abe also said that everyone entering the country, including Japanese nationals, will be asked to go into a voluntary two-week quarantine. Both measures will be effective from Friday.
The premier said he has asked airlines to curb the number of international flights.


Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

Updated 56 min 39 sec ago

Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

  • There has been an upsurge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country
  • The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict

KABUL: A suicide bomber struck near an education centre in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least 18 people in the latest attack to rock the conflict-wracked country.
Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.
The suicide attack, which also wounded 57, happened late afternoon at the centre, which offers training and courses for students in higher education in a western district of Kabul.
"A suicide bomber wanted to enter the education centre," Tareq Arian, spokesman for the interior ministry, said in a statement.
"But he was identified by the centre's guards after which he detonated his explosives in an alley."
He said the attack had left at least 18 people dead and 57 wounded.
"I was standing about 100 metres from the centre when a big blast knocked me down," said local resident Ali Reza, who had gone to hospital with his cousin who was wounded in the blast.
"Dust and smoke was all around me. All those killed and wounded were students who wanted to enter the centre."
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
Residents in several districts of western Kabul belong to the minority Shiite Hazara community, often targeted by Daesh militants. 
In the past, extremists have targeted several education centres and other facilities in the area.
In May, a group of gunmen launched a brazen daylight attack on a hospital in west Kabul that left several mothers dead. The gunmen were shot dead after hours of fighting with security forces.