Hokkaido, Miyagi, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Okayama, Hiroshima to join 13 already under SOE
The Japanese government plans to expand the state of emergency to eight more prefectures on Friday, due to the continued effects of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The newly added prefectures are Hokkaido, Miyagi, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Okayama and Hiroshima, for a new total of 21 prefectures, including Japan’s 14 most populous prefectures.
The Japanese government decided last Wednesday to extend the state of emergency declared in the six originally announced prefectures (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 also added the following seven prefectures to the state of emergency last Friday: Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, and Shizuoka. All prefectures will remain in this state until September 12.
Japan reported 21,570 new cases on Tuesday, with Tokyo alone reporting 4,220. This brings the total number of infections in Tokyo in August to 100,961, which is the first time the monthly number has reached 100,000. The cumulative number of cases in Tokyo is 318,929. There are 268 patients in serious condition in the metropolis. Due to the shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19, about 25,000 people with COVID-19 in Tokyo have to recuperate at home, with doctors checking on their status by telephone.
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.