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.
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
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