Koike Aims to Lower Tokyo's Daily Virus Cases to 500

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Friday the metropolitan government aims to lower the daily number of new coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital to around 500 by Feb. 7, the final day of the fresh state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area over the epidemic.

Tokyo confirmed more than 2,000 new infection cases for the second straight day on Friday. "Further cooperation is necessary for us to overcome the difficult situation," Koike told a regular press conference. "I ask residents to stay home during the three-day holiday through Monday."

The Japanese government put Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa under the fresh state of emergency on Friday, due to spikes in new infection cases in the prefectures.

At a parliamentary meeting on Thursday, economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads the central government's efforts to deal with the health crisis, suggested that the government will consider lifting the virus emergency for Tokyo if the daily infection number falls to around 500.

Tokyo previously saw its daily number stand around 500 in mid-December. If the daily count falls to around 500 as a result of efforts such as people refraining from going out and restaurants and others shortening operating hours, it would be less difficult to secure hospital beds for coronavirus patients and take necessary countermeasures, Koike said.

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Jiji Press