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Japan poised to declare coronavirus emergency

Japan is poised to declare a state of emergency, while the government prepares a $990 billion stimulus package to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Infections are on the rise in Japan - particularly in Tokyo which has seen an explosive increase in cases.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said an emergency would last about a month, and will give governors authority to call on people to stay at home and businesses to close.

But the lockdown measures are unlikely to be as strict as those overseas, where infection rates are higher.

Some say Abe has been too slow moving.

Despite growing pressure on the government to impose a lockdown, Abe had voiced concern about being too hasty to do so, given the restrictions on movement and businesses it would entail.

But medical staff in the city say hospitals have already reached the brink of collapse, due to bed shortages and a sharp rise in cases.

Contagion is an enormous risk in dense Tokyo, a city of nearly 14 million people, in a country with one of the world's oldest populations.