Japan Extends COVID-19 Pre-Emergency for 17 Prefectures
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Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government formally decided on Friday to extend its COVID-19 pre-emergency designations for 17 prefectures until March 6, while letting those for five prefectures expire on Sunday.
The number of prefectures in the pre-emergency stage will fall to 31 after Sunday.
Among the 17 prefectures, the pre-emergency status was to end on Sunday for 16, including Hokkaido, Aomori, Fukushima, Ishikawa, Nagano, Shizuoka, Osaka, Hyogo, Fukuoka and Kagoshima, and on Feb. 27 for Wakayama.
The five prefectures that will leave the pre-emergency stage are Yamagata, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Oita and Okinawa. The pre-emergency exits will be the first since the sixth wave of infections in Japan was triggered by the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
At Friday's meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters, the government also decided to revise its basic response policy in order to strengthen infection prevention measures for elderly people and reduce burdens on medical institutions.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]