TOKYO (AP) – Japan Aponia on Friday said 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 aphonia 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 impose shorter working hours for bars, restaurants, as well as sanctions for offenders and compensation. The events should start on Monday and will continue until May 11.
Many of Tokyo’s incidents are related to nightlife and lunch, although they have recently spread to offices, nursing homes and schools, experts say.
Suga also raised the Kyoto warning level in the western part of western Aponia, in the southern island prefecture of Okinawa, where the number of cases has risen 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.
Monday’s alarm status was raised for three other areas: Osaka and neighboring Hyogo ոգ 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.
The move comes less than three weeks after Tokyo lifted its 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.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who on Thursday asked the Suga government to raise the level of vigilance in the capital, said he was concerned about the recent rise in virus cases and the possible impact of new options. He urged residents to avoid trivial matters and engage in social distance. Koike is expected to order the closure of bars and restaurants at 8 p.m.
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 expected 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.