People wearing protective masks walk past a restaurant near Shinagawa station on the first day after the Japanese government lifted the state of emergency in Tokyo, Japan, May 26, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday declared an end to the state of emergency imposed to control the novel coronavirus outbreak in the greater Tokyo area and Hokkaido.
With the decision covering Tokyo, the prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, as well as Hokkaido in the north, Japan has now lifted the emergency imposed across the whole country, allowing citizens to go out freely and businesses to resume operations.
"We had a very stringent criteria for lifting the state of emergency. We have judged that we have met that criteria," Abe said.
However, the prime minister also called for people to alter their lifestyles by wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and trying to work from home.
Separately, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's minister in charge of the virus response, said the government will designate a transitional period and assess the infection situation every three weeks, and people will be asked to refrain from crossing prefectural borders until the end of May.
In India, airlines resumed about a third of their domestic operations on Monday despite the country recording its highest daily total of 6,977 new infections.
Passengers traveling on Monday could only board a flight if they had no symptoms, were registered on the government's COVID-19 app, and had checked in online. They were ordered to avoid eating on flights and aircrew wore protective gowns, masks, and face shields.
In Turkey, the country's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday announced 32 new deaths, taking the death toll in the country to 4,340.
He also tweeted that there were 1,141 new infections as of Sunday. The total number of infections has now reached 156,827.
In Israel, the government, in an attempt to counter the economic losses, has approved an expansion of the economic emergency plan to $28.3 billion, the Finance Ministry said on Sunday.
This marked additional $4.42 billion for the emergency plan announced by the ministry in late March to aid the Israeli economy and health system due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The supplement includes a $1.7 billion employment incentive program, as well as grants to encourage unemployed people to return to work and to quickly reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
In the United Arab Emirates, the authorities announced 781 new cases and one more death, raising the tally of infections to 29,485 and the death toll to 245.
The total number of those who have recovered from the virus in the UAE rose to 15,056 after 561 more patients were certified to have beaten the infection.
In Kuwait, the authorities reported 838 new cases and eight more deaths, raising the country's total number of infections to 21,302 and the death toll to 156.
The country's tally of those who have recovered hit 6,117 with 370 more patients declared fit.