Japan regions expand restrictions as virus continues spreading

Tokyo, Jan 21 (EFE).- More than half of Japan’s regions declared a health emergency to apply more anti-contagion restrictions amid the continuous Covid-19 case rise in the country, as announced Friday by Japanese authorities.

Twelve more Japanese regions announced they would take similar actions to stop the virus, which continues to spread in record numbers.

Daily cases Thursday exceeded 46,000, the highest since the start of the pandemic, while they exceeded 47,000 on Friday, according to local media.

Infections at the national level quadrupled in less than two weeks, attributed to the circulation of omicron in the country despite the fact that it further restricted its borders after the first cases of the new variant were reported in late November.

The capital and other Japanese regions are applying measures from Friday that focus on shortening the opening hours of bars and restaurants, considered by the Japanese authorities to be the main sources of contagion.

Other regions, including Osaka, Fukuoka or Hokkaido, announced Friday that they have requested or plan to request the declaration of the so-called health “quasi-emergency” from the government.

This will allow them to apply similar restrictions, which could also affect large events such as sports competitions.

The Japanese authorities, who do not have legal powers to decree the mandatory confinement of the population, are trying to avoid greater pressure on the health system, which is seeing the number of serious Covid-19 patients increase rapidly.

In the capital region, the hospital beds reserved for covid patients are already over 50 percent occupied, according to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. EFE


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