Japan's Nishimura Hints at Expanding Virus Emergency Further

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Wednesday hinted that the coronavirus state of emergency may be expanded further from 11 prefectures.

"A decision will be made appropriately based on opinions collected from experts, if it becomes necessary to take measures required for a Stage 4 situation," Nishimura told the steering committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament.

Stage 4 is the worst level of the country's four-tier coronavirus alert scale, indicating an explosive spread of the virus in an area.

Nishimura said that the number of new infection cases, hospital bed situations and opinions of prefectural governors will be taken account of when the central government considers whether to expand the state of emergency further.

On Wednesday, the government decided to add seven prefectures including Osaka to the area of the state of emergency, which has covered Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures so far. The expansion takes effect Thursday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press