Virus Emergency May Be Lifted in Many of 34 Less Affected Prefectures

Politics

Tokyo, May 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura suggested on Sunday that the state of emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic may be lifted in many of 34 prefectures with less infection cases.

Nishimura, who is responsible for the government's coronavirus response measures, showed the prospect at a press conference. The government is expected to make a decision as early as Thursday on whether to partially remove the state of emergency.

The government declared the state of emergency on April 7 for seven prefectures with large numbers of infection cases--Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka--and expanded it to all 47 prefectures of the country on April 16. The state of emergency, which was originally set to end on Wednesday, the final day of the Golden Week holiday period, has been extended to the end of this month.

Thirteen of the 47 prefectures, including the seven in which the situation is serious, have been designated as areas where measures against the virus are taken intensively.

Nishimura said that the state of emergency may be lifted for Ibaraki and Gifu, both among the 13 prefectures, depending on circumstances, noting that the number of infection cases "has decreased substantially" in the two prefectures.

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Jiji Press