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Japan Lifts State of Emergency in Six Prefectures

Japan Lifts State of Emergency in Six Prefectures

The current state of emergency in Japan, due to the novel coronavirus, was declared by the Japanese government in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba on January 8.

The Japanese government expanded the state of emergency to seven more prefectures on January 13.

Affected Regions

The state of emergency was planned to end on February 7 but was extended until March 7 in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Fukuoka, Gifu, Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba prefectures. The state of emergency covers eight of Japan’s 10 most populous prefectures and over half of the nation’s population.

Latest Update

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced Friday that the government will lift a state of emergency in six prefectures, imposed over the spread of COVID-19, ahead of its scheduled end on March 7 as numbers of new infections and the hospital bed occupancy rate reduced sufficiently.

Minami District of Osaka | Kyodo

The state of emergency will be called off in six prefectures including Aichi, Gifu, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka at the end of February. The state of emergency in four prefectures in the Tokyo area — including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama — will continue until March 7 as previously planned.

Ahead of a meeting of a government advisory panel on the pandemic, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister leading the government’s virus response, warned that the early termination of the emergency declaration would not mean all precautionary measures are being lifted.

Remaining Risk

The news was met with a mixed reception. Public health experts and governors in the capital region remain on edge over the risk of a rebound in cases, given the lifting of the declaration in other areas and the heightened likelihood that the public may be tempted to go outside or dine out, even in areas where the declaration remains as temperatures rise toward spring.

Japan has started its COVID-19 vaccination plan on February 17 and is currently prioritizing medical workers. The second phase of the plan will start on April 12 to include elderly people.

See Also

Source: Anime news network and Japan Times

What do you make of this news? Are these restrictions being removed prematurely?

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