Japan Governors discuss extending emergency period

Tokyo, Jan 30 : The Governors of the Japanese capital Tokyo and its three neighbouring prefectures met during which they discussed a possible extension of the incumbent state of emergency due to an unabated increase in new Covid-19 cases.

On Friday Tokyo, the hardest-hit by pandemic among Japan’s 47 prefectures, reported 868 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the city’s total infection tally to 98,439, reports Xinhua news agency.

The number of patients designated as being in a “serious condition” stood at 147, three less than the previous day, local health officials said.

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In the wake of the medical system becoming increasing strained and growing numbers of infected patients being unable to secure beds in hospitals, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said” “We need to take strict precautions, as the number of people testing positive remains high.”

Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa said that the medical care system in the prefecture “remains extremely strained”.

The Governors’ concerns have been echoed by medical experts who have pointed out that the virus situation in Tokyo in particular remains extremely severe, despite recent daily cases showing a slight decline.

Despite the recent dip, experts who advise the metropolitan government on its coronavirus response decided on Thursday to maintain the alert for both the infection situation in the capital and its medical system at the highest level on its four tier scale.

According to the panel of experts, the seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo as of Wednesday dropped to 1,015, compared with 1,471 for the previous week, and 1,699 for the week before that.

They warned, however, that the average still remained high and was at about the same level as January 6, which was two days before the state of emergency came into effect for Tokyo and the three neighbouring prefectures.

In addition, the experts highlighted the fact that the average is about three times higher than the peak reached in the second wave of infections that hit last summer.

As the nation continues to grapple to contain the spread of the virus, the European Union opted to remove Japan from its list of countries from which travellers can visit the bloc without Covid-19-related restrictions such as self-quarantining or mandatory PCR tests.

Japan has so far reported a total of 384,670 coronavirus cases, while the death toll stood at 5,611.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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