Japan Expands Virus Emergency for 3rd Time This Month

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Wednesday to place eight more prefectures under its COVID-19 state of emergency, expanding the coverage areas for the third time this month as the highly infectious delta variant of the novel coronavirus is raging across the country.

The eight prefectures of Hokkaido, Miyagi, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Okayama and Hiroshima will be placed under the emergency on Friday. They are currently in the less strict pre-emergency stage.

The government also decided to add Kochi, Saga, Nagasaki and Miyazaki prefectures to its list of pre-emergency areas on Friday.

After Wednesday's decision, 21 prefectures will be under the state of emergency and 12 prefectures in the pre-emergency stage. Both measures will continue until Sept. 12.

At a press conference Wednesday night, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said his government will decide whether to lift the state of emergency after analyzing progress on coronavirus vaccinations, the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients and the occupancy rates for hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press