Japan to lift Covid-19 health emergency this week

Tokyo, Sep 27 (EFE).- Japan will lift on Thursday the emergency conditions it had imposed to contain the coronavirus as the Covid-19 infection situation improves rapidly in the country.

The government decided to end the curbs in a meeting on Monday between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response.

Suga said the government would make a formal announcement on the easing of the emergency conditions on Tuesday after another meeting with a group of experts.

He said the relaxation would be gradual.

The health emergency has been in place in Tokyo and other parts of the country for most of the year, albeit intermittently.

The government imposed the restrictions in Tokyo in July and extended them on successive occasions until the end of September.

The authorities imposed the curbs after the worst wave of infections hit the country.

Health authorities recorded the maximum number of 25,000 daily infections in Japan on Aug.20.

Since then, the cases have declined between 2,000-3,000 in recent days.

The country has also sped up the rate of vaccination.

Health workers have fully inoculated some 57 percent of the eligible population so far, the latest data showed.

The lifting of the emergency conditions will mean the end of restrictions like prohibiting serving alcohol in bars and restaurants.

However, the local authorities of Tokyo and other regions plan to maintain the time limitations for these establishments, local media reported.

Japan has not imposed complete lockdown in the last nearly two years of the pandemic confinement because its legal framework does not allow it.

However, it closed its borders for more than a year, allowing only the entry of residents and other exceptional cases which remain in force. EFE


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