Coronavirus in Japan: extreme measures a few months before the Olympics

    Coronavirus in Japan: extreme measures a few months before the Olympics

    The Japanese government approved this Friday to strengthen measures against the coronavirus in Tokyo, less than three weeks after the suspension of the state of emergency and just over 100 days after the Olympic Games.

    “Today we have decided to take intensive measures to prevent an epidemic in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa”, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared after a meeting of ministers and government officials.

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    “We have made this decision because the number of infections increases and we fear that the medical system will be under pressure in these regions, “he added.

    The Tokyo 2020 Games, postponed a year due to the pandemic, they begin on July 23 in the Japanese capital, where infections had fallen thanks to the state of emergency, but have increased again since the suspension of restrictions on March 21.

    The new measures – less severe than the strict confinements imposed in other countries – they anticipate the closure of restaurants and bars, on pain of fines for the reluctant.

    Osaka city (Western Japan) has decreed special measures after the increase in cases of covid-19, and has canceled the relay of the Olympic flame on public roads throughout the department.

    From Monday to May 11, a large part of the Japanese capital will be subject to new measures that are generally similar to the preceding state of emergency, but which allow easier targeting of infectious outbreaks, according to the authorities.

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    “For the management of the crisis, I have asked for special measures to be applied in Tokyo”, the governor of the city Yuriko Koike had declared to the press on Thursday.

    “It is urgent that we adopt more and stronger measures, such as reducing the flow of people between large cities, because otherwise, we will witness a spread of contagions and more serious, “added Koike.

    ‘Roam freely’ in the Games

    “In order to prevent a great spread of the virus during the Games and to ensure that everyone can move freely by taking precautions, I think we must take measures to reduce the cases, “he insisted this Friday.

    The city of Kyoto (west) and several areas of the Okinawa department (south) will also be subject to new measures until May 5, including the “Golden Week” holiday week during which they usually receive thousands of visitors.

    Despite several waves of infection, Japan has been relatively little affected by the coronavirus, with some 9,300 officially deceased since January 2020.

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    But urban centers are witnessing an upsurge in cases of covid-19 and health personnel report increasing pressure on hospitals.

    Doctors have also warned of the rapid spread of variants.

    Vaccination progresses very slowly in Japan, which has so far only approved the vaccine for Pfizer.

    Only health personnel have been vaccinated and next week it will be the turn of the elderly. At the moment, there is no date for administer the vaccine to the general population.

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