The Japanese authorities consider that the conditions in the hospitals have been alleviated since the outbreak of the coronavirus began, with available beds to spare, which feeds the possibility that this Monday the state of sanitary emergency that has been in force since 7 September will be lifted. of April.
The alert, initially for a series of regions and later extended to the entire country, has been gradually reduced geographically in recent days, and now only remains for Tokyo, the prefectures that surround the metropolitan area and in the northern region from Hokkaido.
“The difficult medical situation is being relaxed,” Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said in statements to the public television channel NHK.
“The infection situation is improving, with the number of new infections decreasing daily,” added the senior official.
Japan has so far registered 16,550 positive cases of covid-19, with 820 deaths. The new coronavirus arrived in the country in mid-January, but daily contagion rates have been falling dramatically since the beginning of this month.
The health alert is in principle valid until May 31, but this Monday there will be an expert meeting in which it is possibly recommended to lift it before that date.
“If this situation continues, even tomorrow the final decision can be made to cancel (the state of sanitary emergency) after hearing the experts’ opinion,” added Kato.
Tokyo, a city of 14 million inhabitants, scored only two infections this Saturday, but today it increased the count to 14. Even so, in the last seven days the accumulated number of infected in that period has been 50, with 5,152 positive cases total.
The decision to lift the state of emergency in Tokyo, for example, depended on the fact that, according to experts, the number of infected in a week was below 70 cases in the metropolitan area, as well as the availability of hospitals.
According to Kato, there are currently about 2,000 people being treated in hospitals for covid-10. Only 15% of beds reserved by the Government are occupied across the country, and in Tokyo it is 20%.
The state of sanitary emergency allows the local authorities, among other measures, to prohibit massive public events and to close bars and restaurants at night, at the same time that the Government is promoting a campaign to promote telework and stay home.