Okinawa Puts Off Decision over Virus Emergency Request

Politics Lifestyle

Naha, Okinawa Pref., May 18 (Jiji Press)--The Okinawa prefectural government on Tuesday postponed a decision on whether to ask the central government to put the southernmost Japan prefecture under its ongoing third novel coronavirus state of emergency.

The decision on the postponement was made at a meeting of the coronavirus task force of the local government. The task force will discuss the matter again on Wednesday or later.

Currently, 16 municipalities in Okinawa, including Naha, the prefecture's capital, are in the coronavirus pre-emergency stage set by the state, with restaurants and bars in the areas being asked to close at 8 p.m. or earlier as part of measures to bring the virus under control.

But the number of new infection cases surged across the island prefecture after the country's Golden Week holiday period between late April and early May. At a prefectural meeting of experts on Monday night, a participating doctor said that the medical care system in Okinawa is "already in an emergency situation."

At the task force meeting Tuesday, the Okinawa government pushed back a decision on whether to seek the addition of the prefecture to the state of emergency list as some participants stressed the need to give detailed explanations to local economic organizations and seek their understanding, according to sources with access to the gathering.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press