Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Japan’s second state of emergency should be extended by around two weeks for the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, the last region still under the order, which was set to expire Sunday, reports Ryusei Takahashi.

The governors of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures were planning to submit a request to the government voicing concern that new coronavirus cases are not declining fast enough to safely lift the emergency yet, despite a steady decline since Japan’s third wave peaked in January.

Tokyo recorded 316 cases Wednesday, over 100 from the previous day and higher than the 213 cases reported last Wednesday. New cases were also up compared to last week in Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama.

First post-vaccination death reported in Japan | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
First post-vaccination death reported in Japan | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

In a bid to keep new coronavirus variants at bay, Japan said Tuesday it will require its citizens and resident foreigners returning from another 13 mostly European countries to go through additional quarantine measures.

Returnees from the 13 countries where new virus variants are feared to be spreading will be asked to stay at a designated facility after arrival for a retest for the virus on the third day after entering the country, effective Friday.

Wednesday’s (and last Wednesday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (20 or over): Tokyo 316 (213), Chiba 164 (127), Kanagawa 139 (93), Saitama 98 (59), Osaka 98 (62), Hokkaido 60 (43), Aichi 55 (46), Hyogo 40 (18), Fukushima 38 (2), Fukuoka 37 (26), Ibaraki 34 (58), Miyagi 27 (5), Shizuoka 21 (26). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker