Japan approved a two-week extension for Tokyo's Covid-19 state of emergency, the country's public broadcaster NHK reported Friday.
The state of emergency has been in place for Tokyo and three prefectures -- Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa -- since January 7, and was set to end Sunday. It will now continue until March 21.
The extension was approved to lessen the strain on hospitals and ensure hospital bed availability, said Nishimura Yasutoshi, Japan's Covid-19 response minister, on Friday.
Nishimura also noted infection rates were higher in March and April 2020 as people's movements increase during that time.
Tokyo reported 279 new cases on Thursday, bringing its total to 112,624, according to the city's Metropolitan Government.