Japan on Wednesday urged its people to self-isolate after reports indicated a massive COVID-19 death toll without swift action. These reports cited health ministry information that put the potential death toll at 400,000 if the Japanese populace did not take action to slow the spread of the virus, and also predicts that around 850,000 will require ventilators.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized for the country’s slow reaction to the spread of coronavirus, which has led to an acceleration of cases in recent weeks. In an effort to combat that disease, states of emergency have been declared in seven major regions, including Tokyo and Osaka.

The Japanese government’s goal with these measures was to decrease public interactions by 70%. However, without any fines or penalties to level against citizens that do not comply, these orders have not been as effective as officials hoped for. Now, the government is left to plead with its people to obey these rulings and help stem the spread of coronavirus.

In order to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on the country, the Japanese government implemented a stimulus package of about $1 trillion. Even with this in place, many are calling on Abe to add a further $935, for all citizens, similar to the $1,200 stimulus checks currently being distributed in the U.S.

“I’ve urged the prime minister to make a decision and send a strong message of solidarity to the public,” Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Komeito party, said to reporters.

Abe declared a month-long state of emergency on April 7. The country was also forced to delay the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to 2021.

Johns Hopkins University reports that Japan has 8,100 confirmed coronavirus cases and 146 coronavirus-related deaths.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will aim to ease tensions in the Middle East
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe POOL / WANG ZHAO