Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced the end of his state of emergency declaration for the novel coronavirus pandemic, with just 851 deaths reported and without ever implementing a lockdown.
“I have decided to end the state of emergency across the nation,” Abe said during a televised press conference on Monday.
“In just over a month and a half, we almost brought (the infection) situation under control.”
Abe cautioned that lifting the order did not mean that the novel virus was gone from Japan.
“Our battle against the virus will continue,” he said, while urging the Japanese people to continue following stringent social distancing guidance.
As of Monday, the East Asian nation had reported 16,628 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Of those infected, 13,612 have already recovered and 851 have died.
Tokyo, the nation’s capital with 14 million residents, was the hardest-hit part of the country, with more than 5,100 cases. On Monday, the city reported just eight new infections.