WORLD Japan's PM says emergency virus period to be extended to March 7

WORLD

Japan's PM says emergency virus period to be extended to March 7

Xinhua

16:38, February 02, 2021

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a meeting at the COVID-19 coronavirus infection control headquarters at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on January 22, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

TOKYO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday said he will extend the state of emergency for Tokyo and other regions hard hit by COVID-19 by one month until March 7.

"The number of new cases is falling. I think that measures targeted at eating and drinking have been effective," the Japanese leader said in the parliament.

Daily COVID-19 infections have been on a downtrend of late, but healthcare officials warned that people should not let their guards down amid concerns about the increasing strain on hospitals and medical facilities.

The extended emergency period will be applicable to 10 prefectures including Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka.

Tochigi Prefecture will not be subjected to the extension and will have the state of emergency lifted on Feb. 7, as cases there have subsided markedly.

Following an expert panel approving the one-month extension, Japan's premiere announced the move in parliament, with the decision to be finalized later in the day by the government's expert coronavirus task force.

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk along sidewalk in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (Photo: AP)

In terms of COVID-19 cases, the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 556 new infections Tuesday as of 3:00 p.m. local time.

The number of infections marks the fifth straight day that infections have dipped below the 1,000-mark, although the number has risen from the 393 new cases confirmed in the capital the previous day, which took cumulative cases over the 100,000-mark.

Japan reported 1,792 new COVID-19 infections on Monday evening, bringing the nation's tally of cases to almost 400,000, with the death toll approaching 6,000.

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