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.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE