Govt. panel discusses ending emergency declaration
NHK -- May 22
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan.

The panel met on Thursday morning. Infectious disease experts are among its members.

The government lifted the nationwide emergency declaration in 39 of Japan's 47 prefectures last week.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi spoke about the eight remaining prefectures. He said the number of new infections over the past seven days has dropped below 0.5 per 100,000 people in Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo.

He added that sufficient medical care and monitoring systems are in place in the region, so the government can lift the emergency declaration.

Tokyo, three prefectures that neighbor it, and Hokkaido will remain under a state of emergency.

Nishimura asked for the panel's views on when and how to administer PCR and antigen tests. He also requested input on whether more virus checks should be provided for medical personnel and those who've had close contact with infected individuals.

Nishimura explained that infection prevention guidelines have been drawn up for 101 industries. He added that officials are working to establish other independent plans for 19 more businesses.

The steering committees of both chambers of the Diet will be briefed later in the day about the plan to end the state of emergency in the three prefectures.

The plan will be finalized by the government's coronavirus task force in the evening.

News source: NHK
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