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Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday reiterated there is no immediate need to declare another state of emergency in Japan despite a recent resurgence in novel coronavirus infections.
Speaking at a press conference in Hiroshima, Abe said there had been far fewer serious and fatal cases recently compared to when the previous state of emergency was declared in April, and that hospitals across the country were better equipped to treat patients.
"The aim is to prevent the spread of infections as much as possible while also keeping social and economic activity going," he said. "It's a very difficult task, but we will act quickly and as necessary to protect lives and livelihoods while avoiding a situation where another state of emergency is needed."
After getting the outbreak under some degree of control in May, Japan has seen a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks especially in urban centers such as Tokyo and Osaka, as well as Aichi Prefecture and Okinawa.
There are concerns next week's Bon summer holiday could cause another spike in infections as the period usually sees airports, highways and bullet trains full as Japanese visit relatives in the regions or go on vacation.
Abe called on the public to take precautions against spreading the coronavirus, such as avoiding the "3 Cs" -- closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings -- should they choose to travel next week.
"I ask that we be especially careful not to spread infections to the elderly," he said.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 360 new cases of the novel coronavirus, up from the 263 new infections confirmed on Wednesday.
Of the total number, 229, or 64%, are in their 20s and 30s.
the single-day figure brings Tokyo's cumulative total to over 14,600.
The Tokyo metropolitan government is considering designating two hospitals to exclusively treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus amid the recent rise in cases, according to sources familiar with the issue.


© KYODO
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