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[Japan] Govt to extend state of emergency for 1 month


The government has decided that it will extend the coronavirus state of emergency, sources said Monday.

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The government is coordinating to extend the state of emergency for about a month beyond the current end date of Feb. 7. Among the 11 prefectures where the state of emergency is now in effect, local medical services are still severely impacted in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures and in three prefectures in the Kansai region, so the government has concluded that it is necessary to keep countermeasures in place.

The government is considering lifting the state of emergency for Tochigi Prefecture, where the infection situation has been improving, while carefully considering whether or not to lift it for Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka prefectures.

An advisory board of experts for the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry issues its analysis of the infection situation on Monday afternoon and the government will confirm it, before proceeding with procedures for extension on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, the expert Advisory Committee on Basic Action Policy will decide whether the extension is appropriate. After giving advance notice to the Committee on Rules and Administration of both houses of the Diet, the government task force will make a decision. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday evening to explain the situation to the public.

The government plans to ask the prefectures to request that restaurants shorten their business hours and close by 8 p.m. and that people refrain from going out unnecessarily, and to take thorough measures to prevent infections. Even for the areas where the state of emergency will be lifted, the government will request that they keep taking measures to prevent the spread. The Go to Travel tourism promotion campaign will continue to be suspended nationwide for the time being.

The government issued the declaration in Tokyo and three prefectures in the metropolitan area on Jan. 7 and added seven prefectures including several in the Kansai region on Jan. 13. When the declaration was issued in April and May of last year, it was extended for 25 days to cover all prefectures but was then lifted in stages ahead of the end date.

Published : February 02, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN