Tokyo, Feb 2: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday announced that he will extend the state of emergency for Tokyo and other regions hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic by a month until March 7.

“The number of new cases is falling. I think that measures targeted at eating and drinking have been effective,” Suga said in Parliament.

According to the Prime Minister, the extended emergency period will be applicable to 10 prefectures including Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tochigi prefecture will not be subjected to the extension and will have the state of emergency lifted on February 7, as cases there have subsided drastically.

Following an expert panel approving the one-month extension, the Japanese premier announced the move in Parliament, with the decision to be finalized later in the day by the government’s expert coronavirus task force.

On Tuesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 556 new coronavirus cases.

The number marked the fifth straight day that infections have dipped below 1,000.

Japan’s overall coronavirus cases have increased to 394,176, while the death toll stood at 5,922. – IANS