Japan to extend state of emergency by one month

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said his government plans to extend a state of emergency by about a month as the country continues to see hundreds of new coronavirus cases daily, news wires reported.

Abe will announce the final decision on Monday, he told reporters. His comment comes after a government panel on the virus recommended an extension of one month. Tokyo's city government reported a spike in new coronavirus infections on Friday. It confirmed 165 new cases after seeing fewer than 50 cases for two days in a row. 

Japan has so far reported more than 15,000 cases, according to the Health Ministry, and about 450 people deaths from Covid-19. However, critics say actual numbers are far greater as Abe's government has intentionally limited testing. The government has also been criticized for failing to ramp up testing capacities.

In early April, Abe declared a state of emergency for seven prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka, urging the public to refrain from non-essential and non-urgent outings to contain the spread of the virus. A week later, it was expanded to the entire country as the number of new cases nationwide continued to rise.

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