|Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura meets the press at the prefectural government headquarters on April 23, 2021. (File photo by=Mainichi/Kenji Ikai)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] On Tuesday (April 4), Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura announced that he will request the central government to extend the current COVID-19 state of emergency in the western Japan metropolis beyond its May 11 end date while the number of infections hasn’t shown a significant decrease, Kyodo reported.
"My understanding at the moment is that it would be difficult to relax or lift the current measures," Yoshimura told reporters, just over a week since the state of emergency took effect in Osaka and its neighbors Kyoto and Hyogo, as well as in Tokyo. Now, Osaka on Tuesday logged 884 new daily coronavirus cases. The prefecture has experienced a spike in infections driven by highly contagious variants of the virus, putting a serious strain on its medical system.
Tokyo reported an additional 609 infections while Hyogo and Kyoto confirmed 337 and 113 cases, respectively. The Osaka prefectural government plans to have a meeting later this week to decide whether to request Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for an extension. The governor added he will meet with the governors of Kyoto and Hyogo if Osaka decides to ask for an extension. Meanwhile, Japan has been struggling with a resurgence of the virus, with just under three months to go until this summer's Tokyo Olympics.