Japan extends state of emergency until end September

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Market Desk online: TOKYO, Japan announced on Thursday it is extending a state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other areas until the end of September as health care systems remain under severe damage, although new infections have slowed slightly, reports The AP.

The current state of emergency, which was to end on Sunday was issued first in Okinawa in May and gradually expanded. Despite the prolonged emergency, the largely voluntary measures have become less effective.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said serious cases remain high and are still overwhelming many hospitals. He called on the people to continue to work remotely and other social distancing measures “so that we can return to safe and prosperous daily lives.”

His government has faced sharp criticism over virus measures seen as too late and too small to be effective and for holding the Olympics despite public opposition during the pandemic.

“We need to stabilize medical systems and make sure that infections are steadily decreasing,” Economy and Fiscal Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of COVID-19 measures, tens of thousands of people are still recovering at home or in temporary facilities with limited medical care.

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