As the coronavirus spreads, Japan is now encouraging companies to have their employees telecommute in an effort to contain the virus.
According to Reuters, “Japan has 160 cases of infections from the disease known as COVID-19, as well as 691 discovered on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked south of Tokyo. On Tuesday, broadcaster NHK reported a fourth death among passengers.”
As a result, at a cabinet meeting Tuesday, the government unveiled a plan to urge companies to have their employees work from home. “Rather than trying to contain the disease outright, authorities are seeking to slow its expansion and minimize deaths,” Reuters reports. “Telecommuting, or working online or from home, would reduce the infection risk from people gathered in one place.”
The news comes as governments around the world are struggling to contain the virus, with some experts warning it could turn into a pandemic. Cases have cropped up in areas outside China, with experts not always clear how the virus spread to those areas. Further exacerbating the situation is that some individuals infected experience only mild symptoms, yet may still be contagious.
As the virus continues to spread, it’s likely other governments will take similar measures as Japan.