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Japan extends pandemic state of emergency until May 31

Japan extends pandemic state of emergency until May 31

DPA
Tokyo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that the government will extend the state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic until May 31, as it is still seeing hundreds of new infection cases daily.
Abe, who has called on the public to stay at home, said he appreciated people’s efforts, but said they were not enough to flatten the curve and lower infection rates, he said.
The number of those with severe symptoms increased threefold since early April, the premier said.
Abe asked a government panel of experts to provide an interim evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures on May 14. Depending on circumstances, the emergency could be lifted before May 31, he said.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of economic revitalization, also told the parliament steering committee that the government is considering lifting the emergency “if certain conditions are met.”
Japan on Sunday reported 199 new cases and 18 deaths from the Covid-19 respiratory disease, which is caused by the virus, according to a Kyodo News tally. As of Sunday, the country has confirmed 15,771 cases, including 712 on a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo in February, and 548 deaths, a Kyodo tally showed.
However, critics argue actual numbers are much larger, as Abe’s government has intentionally limited testing.

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