Japan Decides to Extend Virus Emergency until March 7

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government Tuesday decided to extend its state of emergency over the novel coronavirus by one month to March 7 for 10 of the 11 prefectures currently under the measure.

Of the 11, Tochigi is the only one where the emergency will be lifted on Sunday as initially scheduled. The emergency will remain in place in Tokyo and the nearby prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo in western Japan, Aichi and Gifu in central Japan, and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan.

The government will continue to urge restaurants and bars in the 10 prefectures to close early and ask local residents not to go out for nonessential purposes, especially after 8 p.m., as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus crisis.

If the infection situation improves in the 10 prefectures, the government will lift the state of emergency before the March 7 expiration, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

He also said that the government aims to start COVID-19 vaccinations for medical workers in mid-February and for elderly people in April.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press