Japan mulling state of emergency extension

Coronavirus cases continue to drop in Japan. But the government is still considering whether to extend the state of emergency that's currently in place for many areas. The measures are effective through Sunday.

Tokyo reported 1,629 new infections on Tuesday, about half the number of the same day last week. The figure has also been declining in other regions under the state of emergency.

But severe cases and the occupancy rate in hospitals remain high, pushing the medical system to breaking point.

The governor of Hiroshima has already asked the central government to extend the state of emergency. Some other prefectures also say it should remain in place.

The minister in charge of the government's coronavirus response says officials are closely monitoring the situation.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi said, "We will make the decision after carefully analyzing the state of healthcare systems in each prefecture and how strained they are, and will listen to the advice from experts."

The government is likely to announce its decision later this week.