Japan is preparing for a month-long extension to its coronavirus state of emergency, prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday.
Abe imposed an initial month-long emergency for seven regions on 7 April, before subsequently expanding it across the whole country.
With measures due to expire next week, Abe said he had told his minister responsible for handling the outbreak, Yasutoshi Nishimura, to plan for an extension, AFP reports.
He was quoted as saying:
After receiving [a] report from the panel of experts, I asked Minister Nishimura to use extending the current framework of the state of emergency by about one month as the base scenario for swiftly drafting plans that will fit the needs of the regions
An extension of the state of emergency had been widely expected, despite the comparatively small scale of the outbreak in Japan, with nearly 14,300 infections recorded and 432 deaths so far.