Japan Panel OKs COVID-19 Pre-Emergency Extension

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--A panel of experts at a meeting Thursday approved the Japanese government's plan to extend its COVID-19 pre-emergency designations for Tokyo and 12 other prefectures for three weeks until March 6.

The government panel also gave its nod to the proposed inclusion of Kochi Prefecture in the novel coronavirus pre-emergency list. The number of prefectures on the list will rise to 36, or three-fourths of the country's 47 prefectures.

The government will decide the pre-emergency extension and addition at a meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters later on Thursday.

"Infections are continuing to increase although the pace of growth in new cases is slowing," economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, who is also in charge of the government's coronavirus countermeasures, said at the panel meeting. "As the number of severely ill coronavirus patients may rise, we need to reduce the burden on the medical care system," he added.

Yamagiwa also said the infection situation and the strain on the medical system in Kochi are becoming severe.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press