Japan government panel requests 3 prefectures enact measures to curb COVID | Inquirer News
Close  

Japan government panel requests 3 prefectures enact measures to curb COVID

/ 12:16 PM January 07, 2022
FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walk along the Kokusai-dori in the prefectural capital Naha, on the southern island of Okinawa, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, October 25, 2021. Picture taken October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walk along the Kokusai-dori in the prefectural capital Naha, on the southern island of Okinawa, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, October 25, 2021. Picture taken October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO — A Japanese government panel put forward a request on Friday to declare quasi-emergency measures in three regions to stem a COVID-19 surge that some officials have linked to U.S. military bases in the country.

If approved, it would mark the first such measures since September, when Japan lifted emergency controls that had prevailed over the country for most of last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Official approval is expected later on Friday after a meeting of health experts.

The infectious Omicron variant has been found in about 80% of Japanese prefectures, and coronavirus cases are surging. New infections exceeded 4,000 nationwide on Wednesday, compared with an average of about 200 per day last month.

FEATURED STORIES

“There are cases where there is no history of overseas travel and the route of infection is unknown, while the Delta strain also continues to spread,” Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto told reporters.

“We must be prepared for the rapid spread of infection in the future,” he added.

The new measures, affecting the southern prefecture of Okinawa and the western prefectures of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, would last from Jan. 9 until the end of the month.

All three regions host bases for the U.S. military, which on Thursday announced stricter infection controls at Japan’s urging after on-base outbreaks appeared to have spilled into surrounding communities.

Governors of the prefectures had requested the quasi-emergency steps, which include limited opening hours for bars and restaurants, after seeing a surge in cases, driven by the infectious Omicron variant.

The southern island chain of Okinawa, host to 70% of U.S. military facilities in Japan, has been the hardest hit so far, in what appears to be the nation’s sixth wave of the pandemic.

The prefecture is expected to report more than 1,400 new cases on Friday, Okinawa TV reported, a new record and up from 981 on Thursday.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: coronavirus curbs, coronavirus pandemic, Japan, Omicron variant
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.