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Japan PM Abe shows proper etiquette during bout of coughing at Diet session

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen using a method recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to block a cough, in the Diet on March 6, 2020. (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed the correct "coughing etiquette" by covering his mouth with his arm rather than his hands during a plenary session of the House of Councillors on March 6.

    A stir arose in the Diet chamber when Abe, who was speaking in a nasal voice and appeared tired from Japan's ongoing efforts to tackle the new coronavirus, started coughing repeatedly. But he showed proper etiquette by using his arm to cover his mouth, as recommended by Japan's health ministry.

    The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recommends coughing into one's arm rather than one's hands, in a method which is said be more effective at blocking particles.

    Since the global coronavirus outbreak started becoming a serious issue for Japan on Jan. 26, Abe has been busy handling the issue, working without taking a day off.

    In a news conference on the afternoon of March 6, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga explained that Abe has a pollen allergy.

    (Japanese original by Kenta Miyahara, Political News Department)

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