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Japan to Extend Covid-19 State of Emergency to Eight More Prefectures

Japan to Extend Covid-19 State of Emergency to Eight More Prefectures

Following the conclusion of the Olympic games and an increase of coronavirus cases in Japan, the Japanese government plans to expand the COVID-19 state of emergency covering Tokyo and 12 other areas to eight more prefectures as it looks to find a quick solution to the massive wave of infections.

NEWEST PREFECTURES ADDED

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. These newly added prefectures will come under the measure from Friday until September 12.

Another four prefectures — Kochi, Saga, Nagasaki, and Miyazaki — will be newly added to the quasi-state of emergency.

The previous state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, and Okinawa was also extended due to the Delta variant of the new coronavirus disease. It was extended from August 31 to September 12.

With the new coronavirus disease getting more severe in certain areas, the Japanese government also added the following seven prefectures to the state of emergency last Friday: Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, and Shizuoka.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

The quasi-state of emergency, currently covering 16 prefectures, allows governors to place business restrictions on specific areas rather than entire prefectures.

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The extension of the state of emergency now means that over 70% of Japan’s 47 prefectures will be covered by some form of emergency to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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 commuting.

Hospitals across Japan are struggling amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, with a shortage of facilities forcing many with milder symptoms to cope at home. The government will prepare facilities like oxygen stations and will provide certain hospitals with two drugs that are used in antibody cocktail treatment.

Be vigilant and stay safe, all.

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