Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared that Japan's state of emergency will be extended nationwide through May 6 in further attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.
The state of emergency previously applied to seven urban prefectures, including Tokyo. Abe said his decision comes after seeing the rapid hike of infections outside these areas.
Abe wants to minimize the human flow during the golden week, a string of national holidays from the end of April through May 6.
He also announced he was considering cash handouts of 100,000 yen (approximately $925) for each citizen, instead of the previous plan of 300,000 yen (approximately $2,800) per low-income family.
Some context: On Wednesday, public broadcaster NHK reported that a team of experts set up by Japan’s Health Ministry estimated more than 400,000 people could die of Covid-19 in Japan if nothing is done to contain the virus.
According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, Japan has 8,626 reported cases of Covid-19 and 178 deaths.