State of emergency to be lifted on Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to make a decision on whether to lift a state of emergency on Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo today, as coronavirus cases in the three prefectures remain low, according to local reports. 

The government had set several criteria to ease restrictions, one of which looks at the ratio of new coronavirus cases to the total population of the prefecture, and another being the availability of healthcare facilities to accommodate more Covid-19 patients. 

The government has already lifted the state of emergency in 39 out of 47 prefectures, however, the state of emergency will continue to apply to Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Hokkaido, which are in place until May 31, unless lifted earlier.