Japan Govt Mulling Coronavirus Emergency Expansion

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 13 (Jiji Press)--The government is considering putting more prefectures under the ongoing novel coronavirus state of emergency amid the rapid resurgence of COVID-19 cases across Japan, informed sources said Friday.

The government will make a decision possibly next week. Meanwhile, some in the government say it seems difficult to lift the emergency, currently covering Tokyo and five other prefectures, at the end of August as currently planned.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday discussed the current situation with economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads the government's coronavirus response, and some other cabinet ministers.

"The medical care system in Tokyo is in a very severe situation," Suga told reporters after the meeting at the prime minister's office. He called for voluntary restraints on going out.

At present, 13 prefectures are covered by the government's pre-emergency designation, which justifies tough coronavirus measures similar to those that can be taken under a state of emergency.

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