Japan Extends Tokyo Area Coronavirus Emergency

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Tokyo, March 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Friday extended its state of emergency over the novel coronavirus for the Tokyo metropolitan area for two weeks until March 21.

"The extended period is necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to monitor the situation closely," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

The government sees a need to keep restrictions in place as the medical system remains under pressure in the Tokyo area, where occupation rates of beds for COVID-19 patients remain high.

Suga apologized for not lifting the state of emergency for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa on Sunday, the day when it was to expire.

"What I have to do is to prevent a rebound (in infection cases) and pave the way for lifting the emergency," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press