Japan ready to expand virus restrictions as infections surge

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by: YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press

Posted: Jan 17, 2022 / 09:11 PM PST / Updated: Jan 18, 2022 / 01:02 AM PST

People wearing protective masks to assistance curb the dispersed of the coronavirus locomotion on a pedestrian crossing Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, successful Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s authorities is preparing societal restrictions successful Tokyo and different regions arsenic the omicron variant of the coronavirus infects much people.

Japan has ne'er had a lockdown during the pandemic but has focused alternatively connected asking restaurants and bars to adjacent early. Crowds are backmost successful galore parts of Japan, with radical packing stores and events, portion COVID-19 cases jump.

The bid volition beryllium finalized this week and is apt to instrumentality effect Friday, the authorities spokesperson said Tuesday. The measures are expected to past for astir 3 weeks successful 16 regions, including Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima, which were already placed nether immoderate restrictions earlier this month.

Other areas seeing surging infections, specified arsenic Osaka, whitethorn beryllium added later.

“The infections are rising astatine an unprecedented speed,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

Worries are increasing astir infections spreading truthful rapidly that infirmary systems whitethorn get stretched thin, helium said.

He acknowledged further enactment whitethorn beryllium needed if the numbers of radical sprout up, required to acquisition quarantine oregon hospitalization.

About 80% of the Japanese colonisation person received 2 vaccine shots, but lone 1% the booster. The authorities has promised to velocity up boosters, but astir radical won’t beryllium getting them until aft March oregon later, nether the existent schedule.

The 3rd dose is recommended peculiarly against omicron, which is causing much breakthrough infections than earlier forms of the virus.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is keen connected avoiding nationalist discontent of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, wide seen arsenic down the ouster of the erstwhile premier minister. Nationwide parliamentary elections volition beryllium held successful a fewer months.

Bars and eateries that abide by the authorities restrictions are eligible for aid. But immoderate accidental that hasn’t been enough.

More than 20,000 caller cases were reported Monday nationwide, showing cases are rising rapidly due to the fact that of omicron. Most experts deliberation the lawsuit tally is an undercount due to the fact that investigating is not widespread. Some 134,000 radical are present quarantining oregon hospitalized for COVID-19.

About 18,400 radical person died from COVID-19. The precocious reported regular cases successful Japan are approaching the grounds numbers deed successful August and September past year.

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Yuri Kageyama is connected Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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