Japan is bracing itself for a state of emergency once again after Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura on Tuesday submitted a formal request for the order and speculation mounts that Tokyo, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures will follow suit later this week.

The government plans to declare a fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo, Jiji Press reported, citing informed sources.

The decision will be made at a meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters on Thursday, the sources said, with the new state of emergency seen running for about three weeks.