Stage 2 Needed for Lifting Coronavirus Emergency: Expert

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 9 (Jiji Press)--It would be desirable for the Japanese government to wait until the novel coronavirus infection situation to improve to Stage 2, the second-lowest level in its four-tier alert scale, before lifting the current state of emergency, an expert suggested Sunday.

Shigeru Omi, head of a government-appointed panel of experts on the coronavirus epidemic, presented the view on a television program, citing as the reason the spread of coronavirus variants, which are more transmissible than the original strain.

The infection situation in the areas placed under the emergency is assessed to be largely in Stage 4, the worst level on the alert scale.

The third state of emergency has been extended until the end of May, beyond the initially scheduled expiration date of next Tuesday, and will be expanded to cover Tokyo and five prefectures, effective on Wednesday.

Omi said he thought that it would be difficult to end the 17-day state of emergency, which started on April 25, as scheduled on Tuesday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press