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Japan sets up new task force to fight coronavirus spread, no state of emergency now

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Tokyo set up on Thursday a new task force to fight the spread of coronavirus, but the economy minister said a state of emergency would not be declared for now.

The new task force is a necessary step towards declaring an emergency. The announcement comes amid worries of spread in the community after the surge in Tokyo, where more than 45 new cases were reported overnight.

Despite being an early focus of the disease which hit a cruise ship docked near Tokyo last month, Japan has so far avoided the widespread explosion in cases that has hit Europe and North America, Reuters said.

Before the latest surge in Tokyo, Japan had 1,314 domestic cases of coronavirus, as well as 712 from the cruise ship. There have been 46 domestic deaths and 10 from the cruise ship, according to Kyodo news agency.

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