Japan’s stance against declaring another state of emergency appears to be shifting, as coronavirus infections fueled by the onset of cold weather showed no signs of abating even after the country stepped up containment measures.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering a request to the central government to declare a state of emergency, public broadcaster NHK reported, without citing how it obtained the information. On Wednesday, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan’s coronavirus response, said the country could consider an emergency if infections continue at the current rate.

Japanese officials have until now said they weren’t thinking about taking such a step. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who typically says an emergency is not being considered, brushed past direct questions about it Thursday evening in remarks to reporters. Suga said the most important thing was protecting the medical system and preventing accelerating virus spread, and did not address the emergency directly.