Tokyo [Japan], January 12 (ANI/Xinhua): Japan on Tuesday confirmed 4,539 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 298,172 infections, not including those related to a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama last year.
The latest figure comes as Japan may expand on Wednesday a state of emergency over the coronavirus to cover the western regions of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures and the central Japan prefectures of Aichi and Gifu, government sources said.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that he intends to broaden the initial state of emergency that came into effect on Friday for Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama to cover the western areas.
Government sources later quoted as saying that Aichi and Gifu prefectures will also be added to the expanded state of emergency, following requests from their governors.
Suga, pending final arrangements, is likely to declare a new state of emergency covering the five prefectures on Wednesday, government sources said.
The central government is also considering including Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, and the southwestern Japan prefecture of Fukuoka in the declaration, sources close to the matter have also been quoted as saying.
Osaka Prefecture has reported more than 3,800 new COVID-19 cases in the week through Monday, while Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures have also reported record-high daily figures as the virus' resurgence in western regions appears to show no signs of abating. (ANI/Xinhua)