The Japanese government extended the current state of emergency for 19 prefectures from September 12 to September 30 due to the continued effects of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Two of the 21 prefectures under the current state of emergency, Miyagi and Okayama, will instead move to a quasi-state of emergency.
The 19 prefectures under the extended state of emergency are Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Okinawa, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Shizuoka, Hokkaido, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, and Hiroshima. Six other prefectures will extend their current quasi-state of emergency to September 30, while six more prefectures — Toyama, Yamanashi, Ehime, Kochi, Saga and Nagasaki — will have restrictions entirely removed as scheduled on September 12.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated that the government will finish giving vaccination shots to those who want them in October or November. He added the government plans to ease restrictions by checking vaccination certificates or negative test results as verification.
Japan reported 10,400 new cases on Thursday, with Tokyo alone reporting 1,675.
The health ministry stated there are almost 2,200 COVID-19 patients across Japan who are in serious condition. Due to the shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19, many people in Tokyo have to recuperate at home, with doctors checking on their status by telephone.
Prime Minister Suga listed three pillars for implementing emergency measures: “improving the medical system, preventing infections, and carrying out vaccinations.” He also called for a drastic reduction in the flow of people, including a 70% cut in commuter footfall. Officials in affected areas will also urge restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol and close early. They will also impose stricter restrictions and limit the number of customers at shopping malls and events. The government will prepare facilities like oxygen stations, and will provide certain hospitals with two drugs that are used in antibody cocktail treatment.
Source: NHK World