First modification: 06/17/2021 – 21:20
There are just a few weeks until the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the Government of Japan is already beginning to relax the restrictions, at least in a good part of the country. In other news, the French enjoyed the first day without face masks in the open air and the WHO declared the Andean variant Lambda as a strain “of interest”.
The Government of Japan announced this week the lifting of the state of emergency on June 21, a month before the start of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games that will take place from July 23 to August 8.
The Games will take place despite the fact that according to various polls, most Japanese are opposed to the event being held in their country. Also, Japanese medical associations asked at first to cancel it, and then demanded that it be held without an audience.
According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, Japan adds 781,241 infections by Covid-19, 14,277 deaths. There, 27.6 million people have received at least the first dose of the virus vaccine.
Worldwide, the figures continue to advance, with 177,138,102 contagion cases and 3,835,167 deaths.
Next, the most relevant news this Thursday, June 17:
- Japan will lift the state of emergency on June 21
That is the date decided by the Japanese government to end a series of restrictions imposed throughout Japan, in order to control the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, certain bans will remain in effect in Tokyo, the capital, and other areas to prevent a spike within weeks of the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The health emergency will continue in Okinawa and another seven of the provinces will continue to be affected by certain restrictions, at least until July 11. In addition, other prefectures that are added are: Kyoto, Osaka, Aichi, Hyogo, Fukuoka and Hokkaido.
本 日 、 緊急 事態 宣言 に つ い て 、 北海道 、 東京 都 、 愛 知 県 、 京都 府 、 大阪 府 、 兵 庫 県 、 岡山 県 、 広 島 県 、 福岡 県 は 6 月 て て で 解除 す る こ 月 て と 解除 す る こ 月 て 解除 す る こ 月 て 解除 す る こ 月 て 解除 す る い 月11 日 ま で 延長 す る こ と を 決定 し ま し た。 pic.twitter.com/Zmk5u5Zgig
– 菅 義 偉 (@sugawitter) June 17, 2021
“The pressure on the health system is improving” and since May “there has been a continuous reduction in the number of new infections throughout Japan,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said during a press conference.
The president also asked that the rate of vaccination be increased. As of this Wednesday, more than 27 million people (of almost 127 million in total) have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
- France puts the mask aside, although restrictions continue
Many people enthusiastically removed the mask on Thursday after the French government announced that its use is no longer mandatory outdoors.
However, the good news was tempered by the fact that the virus continues to circulate and that some security measures will continue to be in place for the next few weeks.
For now, the mask is still mandatory for use in most workplaces, shops, public transport and outdoor spaces where many people gather, such as football stadiums.
After demain, the port du masque in extérieur and will be the most obligatory sauf dans certaines circonstances (regroupements, lieux bondés, files d’attente, marchés …). pic.twitter.com/piXl0tgTkG
– Jean Castex (@JeanCASTEX) June 16, 2021
“We are living an important moment, a happy moment back to a kind of normal life, and we owe it to the efforts of everyone, our health workers, everyone who is involved in vaccination and our citizens,” said French Prime Minister Jean Castex, which also announced the end of the curfew.
The politician added that vaccination is one of the essential things for that return to “a kind of normal life”, which already began to be felt in mid-May, when France reopened terraces and cultural spaces in the first step towards the end of the restrictions.
- The Lambda strain, declared a “variant of interest” by the WHO
The Andean variant of Covid-19, called Lambda, was first found in August 2020 in Peru. Since then, health authorities have been monitoring his behavior.
This Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that this new version of the virus should be considered “of interest”, since its community transmission has been confirmed.
The WHO announcement comes in order to study and measure the impact of the Lambda strain in countries where its presence has increased rapidly, such as Peru, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador.
According to a report by this organization, 81 percent of Covid-19 cases in Peru have been associated with the Lambda variant, since they began to be monitored in April of this year. At the end of May, the Andean country became the nation with the highest mortality rate in the world.
Currently, the WHO is studying whether the Andean variant could have mutations that make it more contagious and resistant to antibodies.
With EFE, Reuters, AP and local media