The third world's largest economy reopens as the nationwide state of emergency over COVID-19 pandemic was lifted in Japan on Monday, but government officials still warned the public to follow precautionary measures to avoid coronavirus resurgence.
In a report by Rappler, during a nationally televised news conference, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared that they had a very constricted criteria for lifting the state of emergency as based on their judgment, Japan as a nation met those requirements.
Japan has been spared the worst of the pandemic as they were able to limit the number of infections to only 16,581 and 830 deaths compared to other nations like the United States, Brazil, Russia, and other parts of Europe who were hard-hit by the coronavirus.
When cases started to spike on April 7, Prime Minister Abe immediately declared a state of emergency under six regions and Tokyo, and later he expanded the coverage nationwide as it slowly threatens the national health system.
During Japan's state of emergency, Japanese citizens were asked to remain in their respective homes while schools and businesses are close, but the nationwide lockdown unlike any other in the world is peaceful as they did not impose any punishment for those who broke the rules.
Most of the Japanese citizens followed the imposed rules under the state of emergency except Tokyo. The nation's new infections count has plummeted from 700 per day at its peak to just dozens.
According to Washington Post, almost all parts of the country lifted the emergency last week, but those areas who were hard-hit like Hokkaido remained close as the government wants to secure the area before removing the regulations.
Vigilance is needed at all times
Japan's Prime Minister Abe praised his countrymen's success in flattening the curve and he emphasized that the whole nation was able to exhibit the strength of the so-called Japan model.
On the other hand, he also reminded everyone about adapting to the new normal and continue to avoid the "3 Cs", which stands for close contact, closed spaces, and crowded places.
Abe also emphasized that by lowering one's guard, means the infection will spread rapidly so his citizens need to be vigilant.
The Japanese Prime Minister also stated that they need to create a new lifestyle and that means his people need to change their way of thinking.
Despite Japan's high levels of general health and hygiene, experts and analysts confirmed that there has no magical method in Japan's low volume of infections.
According to Worldometer, among 7 countries that have advanced economies, Japan has a relatively low level of testing, wherein only 270,000 been carried out, the country ranks the lowest per capita rate.
Despite the information concerning the application of testing in their country, Japanese authorities insisted that mass testing was never their strategy as they mostly rely on aggressive contact tracing to focus on containment.
However, in recent weeks as authorities warn the public on a possible resurgence of coronavirus, they already ramped up the testing in their country as it could possibly overwhelm their existing strategy.