Stars and Stripes stripes.com 04 Jan, 2021 08:00 am

Japan inching toward another emergency declaration to stem coronavirus in greater Tokyo metro

Japan inching toward another emergency declaration to stem coronavirus in greater Tokyo metro
An emergency declaration would permit prefectural governors to ask or instruct people to stay home and to close schools and businesses.

TOKYO — Japan is considering a second state of emergency in the greater Tokyo metro area, four separate prefectures, due to escalating numbers of coronavirus cases there, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday at a news conference.Japan is exceeding 3,000 new cases nationwide per day, Suga said, and the number of patients in serious condition is high.New patients in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama make up about half of the total cases in Japan and the number of people visiting busy downtown precincts in these areas did not decline in December as it did elsewhere, Suga said.“There is a need to send a strong message as the situation is serious and number of cases have been high in Tokyo and the three prefectures,” Suga said.

The situation is “extremely serious,” Suga said.Some coronavirus patients may have picked up the virus while eating and drinking, and that risk must be reduced, Suga said.

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