First modification: 08/25/2021 – 13:54
Japan will extend the health measures already in force in some regions to most of the country, in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, which is causing a record of infections.
“The transmissibility of the Delta variant is extremely strong. We need more cooperation from the population to overcome this crisis,” said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
In total, 33 of the 47 Japanese departments, including the capital Tokyo, which currently hosts the Paralympic Games, will be affected, according to a list approved on Wednesday, August 25 by a committee of health experts and that should be made official quickly.
Since the end of June, Japan has suffered a fifth wave of coronavirus, the most violent to date, aggravated by the spread of the delta variant.
Last Friday there was a record of infections in the country (almost 25,900 cases in 24 hours) and in Tokyo the average of new infections in seven days increased fivefold in six weeks.
Due to this outbreak, the Japanese hospital system is “in a serious situation”, declared the minister in charge of the fight against the pandemic, Yasutoshi Nishimura.
The government is going to extend the state of emergency from 13 to 21 departments, allowing it to impose that bars and restaurants close earlier and not serve alcohol and also limit population movements.
However, these instructions are not strictly respected.
The Government also plans to ask shopping centers and large stores to restrict the number of customers they host simultaneously, and companies to privilege teleworking in order to reduce employees’ daily trips by 70%.
On the other hand, Nishimura asked the governors of all the departments to reinforce the medical infrastructures, starting with oxygen reserves and more personnel.
In parallel, Japan is also going to intensify the vaccination campaign. Currently 42% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in December 2019, Japan has registered 15,600 deaths from Covid-19, according to official figures.