Health minister warns of virus flare-up in Tokyo

Japan's health minister Tamura Norihisa says he will make all-out efforts to prevent a rebound of coronavirus infections in Tokyo.

Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures have seen a resurgence of coronavirus cases. The government decided on Thursday to allow the three prefectures to take stronger anti-virus measures, without declaring a state of emergency. The measure will be implemented next Monday for one month.

Tamura said the number of cases has grown rapidly in Osaka in the month since its emergency declaration was lifted, and a similar situation cannot be ruled out in Tokyo. The declaration for the Japanese capital was lifted nearly two weeks ago.

Tamura said the central government will not hesitate to declare another state of emergency if it becomes highly likely that the outbreak will expand across the nation. But he added that such a decision would require careful consideration, as the measure would restrict individual rights to a significant extent and affect people's lives.