Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Shizuoka added to state of emergency
The Japanese government decided on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency declared in six prefectures in Japan (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, and Okinawa) from August 31 to September 12 in response to the Delta variant of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government will also add the following seven prefectures to the state of emergency on Friday: Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, and Shizuoka. Those prefectures along with six others were already under more focused anti-virus measures in a quasi-state of emergency until August 31. The number of prefectures under intensive quasi-state of emergency measures will increase from six to 16 on Friday.
Prime Minister Yoshihide 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 impose stricter restrictions 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.
Japan reported a daily total of over 20,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time on Friday. The nation reported 23,917 new cases on Wednesday. Tokyo reported 5386 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
According to Japan’s health ministry, the number of severely ill patients nationwide has exceeded 1,600 as of Tuesday, a record number for the fifth straight day.
The Mainichi newspaper reported on Monday that the organizers of the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 games have decided to ban all domestic spectators at all venues.
The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9, 2020, followed by the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6. They were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and rescheduled to July 23 to August 8, 2021 and August 24 to September 5, 2021, respectively.
Source: NHK World