Tokyo [Japan], March 17 (ANI): Japanese officials are thinking about lifting the coronavirus state of emergency currently in place for Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures, as the strain on the healthcare system is easing, reported NHK World on Tuesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said he hopes to make a decision after listening to the opinions of experts and examining figures, such as the number of new cases and the hospital bed occupancy rates.
The already extended measure that covers the capital plus Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures is set to expire on Sunday. Suga will evaluate the stalled pace of decline in new cases during deliberations on whether it stays in place.
The rate of decline in new cases in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba is slowing. But increasing numbers of officials hold the view that the state of emergency should be lifted, reported NHK World.
Suga is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with the minister in charge of the country's coronavirus response, Nishimura Yasutoshi, and health minister Tamura Norihisa. They will discuss the situation, reported NHK World.
The government plans to hold an advisory committee meeting on Thursday to determine whether to lift the emergency declaration. It will assess the number of infections and the state of the healthcare system. It will also consider measures to prevent a resurgence of infections, such as tests for variants.
On Monday, Tokyo reported 175 new cases of the coronavirus. That's 59 more than last Monday. It's been a similar picture for the past week, with each day's tally higher than a week earlier, reported NHK World. (ANI)