Coronavirus Emergency Lifted in Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo
Tokyo, May 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Thursday lifted its ongoing state of emergency over the COVID-19 coronavirus for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, following falls in new infections in the three western prefectures.
The state of emergency now remains in place for Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, as well as the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the government will decide whether to lift the virus emergency for the five remaining prefectures as early as Monday, ahead of its scheduled expiration at the end of May.
The lifting of the emergency in the five prefectures early next week would be "possible if the current trend (in new infection numbers) continues," Abe said.
The prime minister said Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo will now enter the next stage of restarting social and economic activities in earnest while striving to prevent a spread of the coronavirus.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]