Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said at a news conference late on Monday that the government is likely to impose a state of emergency at Tokyo as well as Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures.
Suga felt that a stronger message needs to be sent to the public as these areas reported a large number of cases during the first three days of the new year. In fact these regions account for about half of the national total number of cases recorded.
NHK news reported that if the emergency is imposed it is likely to remain in effect for around a month.
PM Suga added that emergency measures would be enforced in a focussed manner so that there is minimum disruption of social and economic activities.
The central government in co operation with the three prefectural governments plans to tighten rules on events and encourage business to adopt remote working schemes, Suga said.
Schools in the region are likely to remain open and standardized university entrance exams will start on January 16 as planned, with measures to curb the virus spread.