As the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases grows rapidly in Japan, its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks likely to announce a state of emergency.
Various Japanese media have been reporting on this Monday that the Abe administration is preparing for such announcement and that it could come as early as Tuesday.
If a state of emergency is declared, it would be the first time such a declaration has been issued in Japan, and it could remain in place for at least three weeks to a month.
This comes amid concerns that the public health system there could collapse under a wave of in infections in metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka.
Currently, Tokyo is experiencing a lack of hospital beds.
Announcing a state of emergency can allow Japan to build temporary medical facilities and limit outdoor activities.
Japan has more than 4,500 COVID-19 cases, and more than one thousand of them are in Tokyo.