Japan Panel Discloses Standards for Lifting Virus Emergency

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Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government experts panel Thursday disclosed standards for lifting the coronavirus state of emergency, including the number of infection cases confirmed in early to mid-March in Tokyo.

The panel, headed by Takaji Wakita, director-general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, included the standards in its recommendations to the government, noting that Japan had enough capacity to deal with infection clusters appropriately during that period.

It also recommended that the government take measures to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 by dividing the country into three categories of regions depending on the levels of confirmed infections.

The government lifted the coronavirus emergency in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures Thursday, citing as one of the criteria for its judgment 0.5 or fewer new infection per 100,000 population in the past week. If this target is met, it is possible to track transmission routes in an infection cluster and contain it, officials said.

The panel also referred to other standards, such as a decrease in one-week infection cases from a week before level. In addition, it urged the government, as conditions for ending the emergency, to secure sufficient medical service capacity and expand polymerase chain reaction tests to prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 cases may surge again.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press