TOKYO (AP) – Japan Aponia announced on Friday that it would raise coronavirus alert levels in Tokyo by allowing tougher measures to prevent the spread of a more contagious version ahead of the Summer Olympics.
Japan’s national aponia vaccine has fallen behind, and most people in the capital have not been vaccinated as infections have increased.
The increased status announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will allow the governor of Tokyo to open shorter hours for charitable restaurants, as well as penalties for violators and compensation. The events should start on Monday and will continue until May 11.
Many of Tokyo’s cases are related to nightlife, although they have recently spread to offices, nursing homes and schools, experts say.
Suga also raised the level of Kyoto warning in the western part of western Aponia, in the prefecture of the southern islands of Okinawa, where the number of cases has increased in recent weeks. The new status is to be extended until May 5, the end of Japan’s Golden Week vacation in Japan, to discourage travel.
“We will do everything we can to curb infections in the affected areas and prevent them from spreading across the country,” Suga told reporters.
According to the measures, people are urged to avoid trivial trips out of their cities, health officials will patrol bars and restaurants to ensure safety, and testing will increase in nursing homes.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has urged residents to avoid trivialities and engage in social distance. He demanded that bars and restaurants in many parts of the prefecture close at 8pm.
“In order to protect Tokyo’s medical systems, we need to do a lot more to reduce the movement of people in the future,” Koike said.
Alarm status was raised on Monday for three other areas: Osaka, north of neighboring Hyogo և Miyagi. They have seen a sharp rise in daily life since early March, shortly after Japan’s apony eased to a partial, non-binding state of emergency that began in January.
As of Friday, 15 cities in six prefectures, including central Tokyo, have been targeted for virus outbreaks.
The steps are being taken less than three weeks after Tokyo lifted the state of emergency, highlighting the difficulty of balancing the economy with anti-virus measures. The Suga government has been criticized for being too slow to take anti-virus measures because of its reluctance to do more harm to the affected economy.
Osaka said it had received emergency medical care after hospitals were overwhelmed with new cases and had moved the Olympic torch relay from public roads there next week.
In Japan, more than 1 million people, or less than 1% of the population, have received the first two doses of the vaccine, and the wave of events could lead to further cancellation of the Olympic Games.
Vaccinations for health workers began in mid-February. It is planned that the elderly will start shooting from next week until the end of June. The rest of the population will probably have to wait until July, which makes it almost impossible for Japan to soak up the so-called herd of immunity before the start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23.