The move comes as questions persist about the country’s readiness to host the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to be held in Tokyo this summer from July 23 to August 8.
Suga told Japan’s parliament on Tuesday that it intends to extend the state of emergency – which is due to end on Sunday – until March 7 in 10 prefectures. He said that the state of emergency will be lifted in one governorate.
This decision has yet to be finalized by the government’s Coronavirus Task Force, and Suga is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday night on the state of emergency.
On Monday, the Japanese Ministry of Health reported 1,792 new cases of coronavirus and 72 additional deaths, bringing the country’s total cases to more than 392,000 cases and more than 5,800 deaths. Nearly 50,000 Covid-19 patients need medical care at a level of standard. Hospital, starting Monday.
About a third of the confirmed cases are in Tokyo, which on Monday reported fewer than 500 new cases for the first time since December 28.
As the country grapples with its current high, caused in part by freezing temperatures in the winter, it is also struggling with mixed messaging and fatigue from the Coronavirus, as it was among the first to be affected by the pandemic.
Suga has been criticized for what is seen as his reluctance to take action to combat the spread of the virus. Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute for Population Health at Kings College London, said in January that Japan’s response was “very slow and embarrassing”.
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