Japan Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Saturday said that the country needs to remain on high alert for further coronavirus outbreaks as the number of cases with unclear contagion routes increases.
The nation’s number of COVID-19 infections has spiked in the past week, with Tokyo reporting more than 200 cases for three straight days.
Nishimura also warned of increased stress on public health centers’ resources, speaking on public broadcaster NHK on Sunday. Testing should be strategically and greatly increased, he said.
On May 25, Japan lifted a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus gradually reopening the world’s third-largest economy as government officials warned caution was still necessary to prevent another wave.
In April, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions — later expanding it to cover the entire nation.
Businesses and schools were urged to shut and people were asked to remain home, but Japan’s lockdown was far softer than in other parts of the world and there was no punishment for those flouting the rules.
Japan is forging ahead with further steps to re-open the economy amid the increase in virus cases. the minister added.