Japan extends state of emergency amid declining coronavirus infections

Tokyo, Sep 13 (EFE).- An extension of the state of emergency in the main regions of Japan came into effect on Monday amid declining Covid-19 infections in much of the Japanese archipelago.

The emergency, which was initially imposed in 21 of the 47 prefectures of the country until Sep. 12, was extended last week until Sep. 30 in 19 prefectures, including Tokyo and surrounding areas, Hokkaido, Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka.

The government said it decided to extend the measure, in force for most of this year in Tokyo and other prefectures, as the number of daily cases, including severe cases in hospitals, was still too high.

Government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference on Monday that despite a downward trend in infections across the country from the previous week, cases were still high in many areas.

Daily Covid-19 infections across Japan have fallen below 15,000 in the last seven days after surpassing 25,000 between in the second half of August, when the fourth wave of the virus in the country appeared to have reached its peak.

Kato stressed on the need to continue implementing precautionary measures in a situation where the health system was under pressure.

The state of emergency carries restrictions on the opening hours of bars and restaurants, a ban on serving alcohol and limits on attendance at sports and other public events, among others. A full lockdown of the population has been avoided.

About 49.8 percent of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated, according to the latest official figures.

The government hopes to cover a significant chunk of its population between October and November before starting to ease restrictions. EFE


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