The Japanese government will consider declaring another state of emergency over the novel coronavirus, an official said on Saturday.
“We agreed that we are in a severe situation that warrants us considering the declaration of a state of emergency,” the Kyodo News agency quoted Nishimura Yasutoshi, Japan’s minister in charge for the coronavirus response, as saying.
This move came amid a request from the governors of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures where a resurgence of infections has strained the medical system.
We will hear the opinions of experts before deciding on the issue, the minister stressed.
Yasutoshi met with Yuriko Koike, Tokyo governor and the leaders of the Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectural governments.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga did not attend the meeting but he was briefed at his office by Health Ministry officials.
Suga has declined to comment on the need for another state of emergency over the coronavirus.
The country will host the Tokyo Olympics, which was supposed to take place in July 2020 before being postponed, along with other sports events and competitions worldwide, due to the outbreak.
The games have been rescheduled for next July 23-Aug. 8, while the Paralympic Games will take place that Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
Over 11,000 athletes, officials and media outlets will take part in the Olympics.
In April 2020, the central government declared a state of emergency covering some of the country’s 47 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, before expanding it nationwide. The state of emergency was fully lifted in late May.
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