Nikkei led with a report saying that the GOJ is planning to lift the state of emergency tomorrow for Ibaraki, Aichi, Gifu, Kyoto, and Fukuoka prefectures, which are designated as areas that warrant special attention, and all 34 prefectures that are not on the special alert list, while continuing to designate Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido as areas that warrant special attention. The paper wrote that the GOJ will make a final decision after holding meetings of a government panel of experts and an advisory committee on Thursday. The paper wrote that the GOJ is planning to continue to designate Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido as areas that warrant special attention because although the number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo has been trending downward, Tokyo may face a shortage of hospital beds if cases begin to rise again because the number of people hospitalized is still high. There is also concern about a potential expansion of infections in Osaka, and a “second wave” of infections in Hokkaido that has not yet been brought under control.
The paper wrote that the experts’ panel is drafting criteria for ending the state of emergency that include a target of 0.5 or fewer total cases per 100,000 people over the preceding week, conditions in neighboring prefectures, and the percentage of positive tests. With regard to criteria for reimposing the state of emergency, the experts’ panel is reportedly considering such criteria as new cases exceed 5 per 100,000 people, the number of infections doubling in 10 or fewer days, and untraceable cases exceeding 30% of the total number of infections. Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nishimura told the press on Tuesday that even after the state of emergency is lifted people should refrain from traveling to high-alert prefectures and using facilities associated with community infection, such as nightclubs and gyms.
Meanwhile, Mainichi wrote that the GOJ is considering lifting the state of emergency for all 34 prefectures that are not designated as areas that warrant special attention as well as Ibaraki, Gifu, Aichi, and Fukuoka.