Osaka governor to mull longer state of emergency

Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi is casting doubt on the feasibility of ending a state of emergency in the western prefecture next week.

The medical situation is critical in the region due to surging coronavirus cases. Yoshimura told reporters on Tuesday that he thinks it will be difficult to ease or lift restrictions under the current state of emergency.

The measure is due to expire on May 11 in Osaka and the nearby prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto, as well as Tokyo. Yoshimura says he will decide at a meeting later this week whether to ask the central government for an extension.

Osaka reported 884 new cases on Tuesday. Hospital capacity for seriously ill patients exceeds 99 percent.

Daily cases also remain high in Tokyo. On Tuesday, officials reported 609. They say 65 people are in serious condition, unchanged from the previous day.

Nationwide, there were more than 4,100 new cases on Tuesday. Fifty people died.