Japan Mulling Lifting Virus Emergency in 3 Prefectures

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)--The government has started considering lifting its fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus for three prefectures where the infection situation is improving--Aichi and Gifu in central Japan, and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan.

The government may decide the lifting at a meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters on Friday although some are cautious in view of high occupancy rates for hospital beds for coronavirus patients, informed sources said.

The government has extended the state of emergency, which was declared last month for 11 of the country's 47 prefectures and was slated to run until Sunday, for one month to March 7 for 10 of the 11, while the measure was lifted for Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, as initially scheduled.

During the process of deciding to extend the emergency, the government explored the possibility of removing the measure for Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka as well. The 10 prefectures now under the state of emergency other than Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka are Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, and Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo in western Japan.

At Monday's meeting of senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the daily number of coronavirus positive cases is falling and that the possibility of lifting the emergency before its new expiration date will be considered.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press