Japan announced on Friday that it would raise the level of coronavirus warning in Tokyo to allow tougher measures to prevent the rapid spread of more contagious forms before the Summer Olympics.
Japan's national immunization campaign has lagged behind and many people in the capital have not yet been vaccinated due to the outbreak.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the high-ranking governor would allow the governor of Tokyo a short time to open bars and restaurants, as well as punish violators and allow compensation to those who comply. The measures will start on Monday and continue till May 11.
Experts say many cases in Tokyo have been linked to nightlife and dining, although it has spread to most offices, caregivers, and schools.
Suga also raised the level of warning for Kyoto in western Japan and the southern island of Okinawa as there has been an increase in cases in recent weeks and Japan's "Golden Week" holiday continues until May 5 to discourage traveling.
They have had sharp increases in daily cases since early March so the alert status was raised on Monday for three other areas of Osaka, neighboring Hyogo, and Miyagi in the north. Soon after Japan scaled down a partial and non-binding state of emergency that began in January.
Osaka has filled its hospitals with new cases and declared a medical emergency, and next week the Olympic torch relay has been removed from public roads.
Tokyo's Govt. Yuriko Koike, who on Thursday urged the Suga government to raise the level of warning in the capital, said it was alarmed by the recent rise in virus cases and the possible effects of the new variants. To avoid unnecessary travel and to practice social distances. Koike is expected to issue a closure order for bars and restaurants at 8 p.m.
In Japan alone, more than 1 million people, or less than 1% of the population, have received the first dose of the two vaccines, and an increase in cases could lead to the cancellation of Olympic-related events.
Vaccinations for medical personnel began in mid-February. Elderly people are being prepared to receive their shots from next week to the end of June. The rest of the population may have to wait until July, making it impossible for Japan to escape the so-called herd before the Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23.
Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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