Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that the national emergency presently in place may be extended for a further period of one month.
“Returning to normalcy from May 7 is difficult and we need to brace for a protracted battle against the virus”, Abe told reporters in his office in Tokyo.
However, a decision on the period of extension is still not known.
Abe added that: “I will consult with experts as to the length of the extension”.
The PM is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday.
The restrictions on movement of people and closing down of certain commercial establishments will continue during this period of emergency.
Officials have said that the emergency may get extended either till the end of May or till June 6.
Japan had declared a state of emergency on April 7 in Tokyo, Osaka, and five other prefectures.
However, he extended this to all the 47 prefectures of the nation on April 16.
Japan was among the first few nations to be affected by the virus outside China. The Diamond Princess ship which had docked off the shores is believed to have been the starting point of the spread of the virus.
Japan presently has over 15,000 cases and about 400 deaths.