Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has extended the country’s state of emergency, but is also loosening certain restrictions.
State of Emergency
Japan’s nationwide state of emergency is being extended until the end of May. Abe said that this month will be one where they will resolve the state of emergency. It is also a month of preparation for after the pandemic.
While a date has been set, Abe is still critical about it. He is consulting experts and making sure that the date is realistic and feasible. As such, the country is continually assessing the number of infected and the state of their medical facilities.
The clearing of the state of the emergency will wholly depend on the status of each prefecture, and how their healthcare system is operating.
If things line up, the state of emergency may be lifted even sooner.
The extension of the state of emergency is a sign that government officials and experts know the pandemic is not yet beaten. The count of daily infections and their thin medical resources are indications of this.
The Japanese government also understands that clearing the state of emergency may cause infection rates to increase significantly again.
In Japan, upwards of 15,000 people have contracted COVID-19. More than 500 have died from it. The precise measure of these figures is set to increase as the country is still struggling with the testing.
Apart from the aforementioned extension, the government is also loosening certain restrictions. It is the hope of the government that they can begin the economic and social activities once again.
The pandemic has damaged the country’s economy. It has also caused social unease with the citizens. It is the government’s hope that the loosening of restrictions can help ease the minds of the people.
Despite the guidelines being revised, certain things are also being kept in place in prefectures that are severely affected by the virus. These include not allowing people to head out for non-essential activities.
Apart from that, certain prefectures will still need to decrease their face-to-face contact by 80%. However, museums and parks will be reopened as long as people maintain safe social distancing.
The revisions include a “new lifestyle” plan that people need to follow. These include steps like wearing masks outside, changing clothes when getting home, and keeping track of people who they have met if they are infected.