News – PH – Japan eyes open virus emergency in Osaka, 5 other prefectures on Feb.28


TOKYO – Japan plans to postpone the lifting of the coronavirus state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto and four other prefectures to Sunday as the number of infections there is falling, government officials said

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, meanwhile, is considering extending the state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures by its current end date of Jan. March, officials said on Wednesday

The government is likely to make decisions on the six prefectures – Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Fukuoka, and Gifu – and the four others, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, after holding a meeting with a panel of Infectious Diseases and Other Experts on Friday

“We will hold a meeting on Friday to hear various opinions from experts and to pass judgment,” Suga said on Wednesday after speaking with Health Minister Norihisa Tamura and Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister responsible for responding to the pandemic

“It is true that the number of infections has fallen sharply and the governors are asking for an end earlier than planned (in a state of emergency),” he told reporters at the Prime Minister’s office

Suga also said the government was due to leave on Jan. April start with COVID-19 vaccinations for the elderly as the rollout gradually extends beyond health workers

Earlier in the day, a Department of Health advisory panel admitted infections were decreasing across the country, but warned against complacency

There were 213 new infections in the capital on Wednesday, bringing the number of novel coronavirus cases to 110The seven-day moving average of new cases in Tokyo fell below 300 for the first time since November on the same day

Tokyo’s record for Wednesday compared to 127 in Chiba, 93 in Kanagawa and 62 in Osaka

Since Suga on 1 Declared a state of emergency on January 7, people were urged not to leave their homes unnecessarily while restaurants and bars were asked to close at 8 p.m.

Businesses are encouraged to work remotely while attending major events such as concerts and sports on Aug.000 is limited

While measures are more sloppy than last spring’s state of emergency that closed schools across the country and temporarily closed many businesses, some government officials are cautious about restricting economic activity for too long

Meanwhile, others fear that undoing the declaration too early could lead to a recurrence of infection

The health ministry panel said infections had fallen into a state of emergency, but the pace of decline had slowed from mid-February and more efforts were needed to get the pandemic under control, but hospitals remain under pressure but not in as they were before, it was said

Nishimura told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the government would take a decision on the recommendation of experts while ensuring that the coronavirus does not spread again in the coming months

The governors of Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo jointly petitioned Nishimura on Tuesday to have their prefectures removed from the list

Aichi Gov Hideaki Omura also made a similar request, while Gifu Gov Hajime Furuta has indicated that the state of emergency in his prefecture should be lifted at the same time as Aichi

On Wednesday, Fukuoka also requested that the southwestern prefecture be closed before Jan. March to be crossed off the list

Suga initially declared State of Emergency 7 for the Tokyo metropolitan area for one month until February before expanding it to a total of 11 prefectures.The declaration was later extended to 7, with the exception of Tochigi March extended

State of Emergency, Japan, Coronavirus, Government, Prefecture

News – PH – Japan lifts virus emergency in Osaka, 5 more prefectures on February 28