Japan on Thursday lifted the state of emergency from most parts of the country, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced.

Abe said state of emergency will be lifted in 39 provinces, “where infections can be contained”, Kyodo news reported.

Japan had imposed a state of emergency early last month for a period of one month to combat COVID-19 and later extended it until May 31.

Abe, however, warned if the situation deteriorates, “there can be another emergency.”

The country has so far reported over 16,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 678 deaths.

The government decided to continue with the emergency situation in Tokyo and other seven provinces including Osaka. The government will assess situation on May 21 whether or not to continue state of emergency in these regions.

Health experts have been tasked to analyze the daily coronavirus data and the latest situation in the hospitals.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister for economic revitalization, said: “We believe it’s appropriate to lift the state of emergency for the prefectures.”

As the country progresses out of the coronavirus situation, people have been encouraged to adopt “a new lifestyle without letting their guard down” against the infection.

Travel between areas under the state of emergency will be avoided.

Since appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, with its epicenter having shifted to Europe and the US.

The pandemic has killed over 297,400 people, with total infections surpassing 4.36 million, while more than 1.55 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.

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