Earlier in February, Japan extended its state of emergency for another month until March 7 in 10 prefectures across Japan. However, the latest news indicates that the government is considering to maintain this state of emergency to help with the rollout of its long-awaited Covid-19 inoculation programme, which starts this week.
According to NHK World Japan, Yashutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan’s Covid-19 response, mentioned the need to ease the burden on the country’s medical system, which now has to grapple with coronavirus cases and regular healthcare needs as well as Covid-19 vaccination.
The Pfizer vaccine was just approved and the first batch of inoculation has just started yesterday, February 17. Up to 20,000 frontline healthcare workers are expected to receive the vaccine.
In the meantime, there will be an expert panel discussion on the state of emergency at the health ministry today.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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