Japan to Mull End-Sept. Lifting of COVID-19 Emergency

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is set to step up moves for lifting its novel coronavirus state of emergency at the end of this month as planned, it was learned Tuesday.

The government is expected to make a decision Sept. 28 based especially on whether the strain on the medical system is easing, as well as experts' opinions, while studying the possibility of removing the COVID-19 emergency for all 19 prefectures under the measure including Tokyo, informed sources said.

The seven-day average of new infection cases across the nation has been trending down, standing below 60 pct of the week-before levels recently, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients is also declining.

"We'll make a decision (on whether to end the emergency Sept. 30) by putting our emphasis on how much the medical system is strained and analyzing the vaccination situation, the number of severely ill patients and hospital bed occupancy rates," the top government spokesman said.

At a separate press conference Tuesday, health minister Norihisa Tamura said that the strain on the medical system is falling, noting that the number of COVID-19 patients in severe condition and new fatalities are on the decline. "Compared with the week before, it's clear that the amount of strain is slightly weaker," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press