Hospital Bed Situation Key to Emergency Lifting: Nishimura

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said Sunday that the government will consider lifting its fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus after confirming that the strain on hospital bed capacity in areas under the emergency has eased substantially.

Nishimura, who is in charge of government responses to the coronavirus crisis, showed the view in a television program.

The state of emergency, issued in January, now covers Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, the central prefectures of Aichi and Gifu, the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, and the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka. It is currently slated to run until March 7, one month longer than initially planned.

Nishimura denied that the 10 prefectures will be placed under a pre-emergency stage, which was created under the revised special coronavirus law, immediately after the state of emergency is lifted.

"We want to prepare an environment in which hospital beds for coronavirus patients are secured stably under the state of emergency," rather than taking intensive measures to prevent a spread of the virus in the 10 prefectures under the pre-emergency stage upon the lifting of the emergency, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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