Shinzo Abe is planning to declare a state of emergency (SoE) over the novel virus epidemic in the country. Due to the recent surging COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and big cities, government is going to prevent the spreading of the infection.
In Japan, pressure had been mounting on the prime minister to make the declaration amid a surge in COVID-19 cases recently. The Japan Medical Association calls for intensifying the move against virus.
The Tokyo metropolitan government along with healthcare specialists said the number of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients will soon reach capacity, with the health ministry rapidly trying to secure more.
It is worth to note that if SoE were to be declared by the Japanese PM, people will have to stay at home on a regional or national basis, while schools will be closed. Moreover, SoE requires to restrict the use of locations for mass gatherings. Under such circumstances, the government would have extended powers.
Adding to pressure on the government to demonstrably bolster its preventive and counter-measures to the spread of the virus, a panel of government experts warned recently that the country’s healthcare system could collapse if COVID-19 cases here continue to spike.
Under a law revised in March to cover the coronavirus, the prime minister can declare a state of emergency if the disease poses a “grave danger” to lives and if its rapid spread could have a huge impact on the economy.
Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said on Monday that a decision had yet to be made.
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The first being that the outbreak of the virus be deemed serious enough to result in extreme damage being caused to people’s lives and health, and the second being that the rapid spread of the virus threatens to have a serious impact on people’s livelihoods and the country’s economy.
The government would also have the authority to demand that supplies deemed essential to combating the spread of the virus be sold to them or requisitioned, and be able to temporarily commandeer private land or facilities for the purposes of providing medical care.
On Sunday, Tokyo hospitals have reported the record daily high for the capital, 143 cases new cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the nationwide cases had risen to 3,531 as of Sunday afternoon.
In fact, the healthcare system in Tokyo and four other prefectures is under increased strain and “drastic countermeasures need to be taken as quickly as possible,” the experts concluded.