State of emergency set to be extended for another month

Easing of lockdowns: Across the globe, a growing number of nations are easing lockdowns or are planning to announce an end to some restrictions that have taken an immense toll on economies, lives and livelihoods. For some places, the easing cannot come soon enough. For most, some restrictions will remain in place for months to come as the world adjusts to the ongoing threat from the coronavirus.

TOKYO • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he was leaning towards extending the country's state of emergency for about a month, as experts pointed out that coronavirus restrictions should remain in place until the number of cases falls further.

The state of emergency, which enables regional governors to instruct businesses to close down and ask people to stay at home as far as possible, is due to expire next Wednesday.

Mr Abe will make a final decision on Monday after consultations with the experts.

"Thanks to the efforts of our citizens, we have managed to avoid an explosion of cases as has been seen overseas," Mr Abe told reporters yesterday evening. "But the medical situation remains tough and we must call for further cooperation from our nation."

He added that he would most likely extend the state of emergency for roughly a month.

"After receiving this report from the panel of experts, I asked Minister Nishimura to use extending the current framework of the state of emergency by about one month as the base scenario for swiftly drafting plans that will fit the needs of the regions," Mr Abe said, referring to Economic Revitalisation Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

An expert panel advising the government is reviewing the situation in different parts of the country, he added.

Japan has confirmed more than 14,000 cases and 436 deaths from Covid-19.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2020, with the headline 'State of emergency set to be extended for another month'. Print Edition | Subscribe