Coronavirus infections in Japan surpass 15,200

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The state of emergency was initially set to expire Wednesday, the last day of the Golden Week holiday period in Japan.

Japan is expected to announce the expansion of the state of crisis following the assembly, also Abe will hold a press conference from the day to address the state about the outbreak.

The emergency declaration gives local authorities the legal power to call on its citizens to stay at home and to ask schools and businesses to close, but stops short of imposing a legally binding nationwide lockdown.

The government may also ease some of the current coronavirus-related constraints on economic activity by allowing places with relatively low infection risks, such as parks, to re-open, even in hard-hit prefectures.

The government has chose to allow the reopening of parks, museums, libraries and other public facilities in areas with high coronavirus counts and to ease its request for slashing social contact, a senior official said Sunday.

But the extension was backed by both experts advising the government and regional governors, with concerns that a sudden spike in cases remains possible.

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The government panel of medical experts recommended Friday that the emergency steps be kept in place for a while to prevent a surge in new COVID-19 infections that would put an additional strain on hospitals. It was expanded to all of Japan on April 16.

To mitigate the damage done to households, he timed the announcement with a pledge to provide each of Japan's some 126 million people with 100,000 yen ($930) to help ride out the emergency situation.

But he also said the state of emergency may be lifted for some prefectures where the outbreak is believed to be under control.

"At this point, the decrease in people infected is still not at a sufficient level".

They are: the number of new cases over the most recent two to three weeks; the ratio of infections where the route of transmission is unknown; whether diagnostic testing is being conducted adequately; whether hospitals have the capacity to deal with new COVID-19 patients; and whether the virus has spread to nearby prefectures.

Some governors recently released the names of pachinko parlors that defied their closure requests.

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