Japan expands and extends Covid-19 emergency through May

Tokyo, May 7 (EFE).- Japan expanded its state of emergency Friday to include more regions due to rising Covid-19 infections in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, extending the measures until May 31.

The health alert was declared in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, and will be included in it from Wednesday to the prefectures of Aichi (center) and Fukuoka (southwest) in order to adopt additional measures to try to stop infections in these areas.

“The movement of people in Tokyo and Osaka has been reduced. However, there are still new infections putting pressure on the entire medical system in Osaka and Hyogo,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said when announcing the extension.

The decision to extend the third state of emergency due to Covid-19 applied in the country came after authorities consulted with the committee of experts that advises the government on the management of the pandemic.

Requests to bars and restaurants not to serve alcohol or the celebration of sporting or mass events with a limit of 5,000 attendees or half the capacity of the venue will continue.

The government plans, however, to ease certain restrictions that affect large shopping areas, which had been asked to close. They will be urged to close at 8 pm, as with the hotel business, with the aim of mitigating the impact on the national economy.

Japan’s most recent state of emergency has been in effect in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo since Apr. 25. It was scheduled to conclude Tuesday, before its extension until May 31.

The expansion of the health emergency in Japan comes three months before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as the country faces its fourth coronavirus wave.

Japan has so far registered more than 621,000 covid cases and 10,602 deaths, according to the latest Health Ministry report. EFE


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