Japan to extend lockdown ahead of Olympic Games

Japanese officials are reportedly set to extend their state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures ahead of the Olympic Games, which open on July 23.

Night street scene of Japan.
Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has said measures that were introduced last month had failed to stem the rise in coronavirus infections. The planned extension would be an additional three weeks and last until May 31. Picture: Masashi Wakui from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, May 7 (ANA) – Japanese officials are reportedly set to extend their state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures ahead of the Olympic Games, which open on July 23.

According to the Guardian, the current regulations expire on May 11, and Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters on Friday that the measures that were introduced last month had failed to stem the rise in coronavirus infections.

The planned extension would be an additional three weeks and last until May 31.

Al Jazeera reported that Nishimura had held a meeting with a panel of medical and economic experts on the variants of the virus and they agreed on the extension plan, which the government now needs to approve.

“Osaka particularly is in quite a dangerous situation with its medical system,” said Nishimura.

“We have a strong sense of danger that Tokyo could soon be turning into the same situation as Osaka,” he said.

Japan has recorded more than 620,000 Covid-19 cases and over 10,500 deaths, and while the data has shown fewer cases this past week, the drop could be due to fewer tests being done during the Golden Week holidays that ended on Wednesday.

Shopping malls and restaurants serving alcohol were ordered to close, with fines imposed on those who did not comply.

Japan started its vaccination roll-out programme in February and up to 2% of the population have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has come under fire due to Japan’s slow vaccine roll-out as they have yet to finish inoculating medical workers and move on to people over the age of 65.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.