Koike Keeping Eyes on Govt's Moves on COVID-19 Emergency

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Tokyo, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike indicated Sunday that she is keeping a close eye on the Japanese government's moves on a possible review of conditions for declaring a COVID-19 state of emergency.

Noting that a decision to issue a state of emergency will be made by the central government based on a relevant law, Koike told reporters, "I want to receive a thorough explanation from the state especially on how it plans to deal with the (highly transmissible) omicron variant of the novel coronavirus."

Koike made the remarks after she said at a press conference Friday that she has asked the national government to review the conditions for declaring a state of emergency and its COVID-19 measures by taking the characteristics of the omicron variant into account.

The Tokyo metropolitan government is expected to consider seeking a state of emergency once the occupancy rate for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in the Japanese capital reaches 50 pct. The rate stood at 48.5 pct as of Sunday.

Asked about progress in the metropolitan government's discussions on the possibility of asking for a state of emergency, Koike said: "COVID-19 Hospital beds include those for seriously ill patients and those for moderately ill patients. We've been saying that we will stop infections, but won't stop social activities. So we will consider the matter comprehensively."

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