Details Emerge On 2nd Emergency Package

Details emerge on 2nd emergency package

NHK has learned the details of a second emergency package by the Japanese government to fund programs and enforce new regulations for containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Sources say one measure will provide funding to improve the availability of testing for the virus.

There will be money so that day-care centers and nursery homes can buy more disinfectants and sterilize their facilities.

Officials will ban the resale of surgical masks and give financial support to mask makers for stepping-up production.

The package outlines subsidies for parents who have to take time off, amid a temporary shutdown of all schools nationwide.

Officials say they will cover the cost of refunding parents for the money paid for school lunches. They will also help in efforts to reduce food waste resulting from the cancelled meals. They will try to find other buyers for fruit and vegetables.

Financial help is in the pipeline for small and medium-sized companies that have implemented teleworking.

The officials also plan to offer special loans with effectively zero interest and no collateral requirements. The financing is earmarked for small companies, individual business owners and freelancers hit hard by the economic impact of the virus.

Officials will support businesses that are investing in facilities and equipment or reforming their sales channels. That's to help ease the epidemic's impact on supply chains.

The package also recommends extensions for renewing driver's licenses, and mandatory training for care managers in renewing their licenses.

To pay for these programs, the government plans to tap a reserve fund worth 2.6 billion dollars for the current fiscal year ending at the end of this month.

A government task force will decide on the package on Tuesday.