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Tokyo region's state of emergency extended again
Tokyo region's state of emergency extended again

Tokyo, March 6 (TIWN) Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has extended the state of emergency covering the Tokyo metropolitan area by two weeks to March 21 for a second time since January, as Covid-19 infection numbers have continued to increase in the region.

Suga made the decision to extend the state of emergency for Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama at a meeting of the government's COVID-19 task force.  The extension is the second since Suga declared the emergency in early January, with the prime minister saying the measure is "necessary to protect lives and livelihoods."  Health experts and local officials have voiced concerns that lifting the state of emergency for the region too early could lead to a resurgence in infections and the medical care system once again becoming overly strained.  They have said that warmer temperatures mean that cherry blossom-viewing parties, a seasonal highlight in Japan heralding the beginning of spring, could become super-spreader events in the region.  They added that such parties could trigger the virus' resurgence unless protocols are put in place to dissuade people from gathering in groups in parks and along popular riverbanks known for their blossoms.

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