Quasi-emergency measures extended to March 6 in 13 prefectures

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government announced Thursday an extension to the period of quasi-emergency priority measures in Tokyo and 12 other prefectures until March 6.

The measures had been scheduled to end on Sunday in those areas.

The government’s COVID-19 subcommittee agreed to the extension in a meeting on Thursday morning. The subcommittee also agreed to a proposal to implement quasi-emergency measures in Kochi Prefecture from Saturday to March 6.

“The pace of infections is slowing down, but except for a few areas, the coronavirus is still spreading,” economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa said at the subcommittee meeting.

In addition to Tokyo, the measures will be extended in Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Kagawa, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Miyazaki prefectures.

With the addition of Kochi Prefecture, quasi-emergency measures will be in effect in 36 prefectures this weekend.

The measures will be implemented until Feb. 20 in 21 prefectures, including Hokkaido and Osaka Prefecture, and until Feb. 27 in Wakayama Prefecture.

The government also presented a draft to amend its basic pandemic policy, which includes calls for more stringent measures at elderly nursing homes, schools and nurseries, such as a recommendation for toddlers aged 2 and above to wear masks whenever possible.

It also includes calls for people dining in groups to limit the number of participants and eat in silence, and a goal of administering 1 million COVID-19 booster shots per day this month.