Japan’s Hokkaido declares state of emergency over virus

TOKYO — The Japanese island of Hokkaido is declaring a state of emergency over the rapid spread of the new virus there.

The governor says the emergency will continue until mid-March.

He is urging all residents to stay home this weekend, which he says is a critical time to keep the situation from worsening.

The number of cases in Hokkaido has risen rapidly in recent days to 63.

Schools throughout Japan are closing until the end of March.

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