Most of Japan’s prefectures have fallen under or are preparing to seek restrictions on restaurants and bars to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases. With 12 more regions comprising Osaka Prefecture set to seek quasi-state-of-emergency declarations from the central government in the coming days.
Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Shizuoka prefectures were, together with Hokkaido, expected to seek action on Friday following the country, setting the highest number of coronavirus-related cases per day for a third consecutive day, with the number reaching 46,600 on a Thursday.
The health ministry reported that the number of COVID-19 severe patients in the nation totaled 404, an increase of 117 patients from the day before. The panel of experts of the ministry announced Thursday that the number of patients recovering and those suffering from severe symptoms are growing in tandem with the increase of new patients infected across the nation.
The rapid spread of infection raises concerns about the strain upon the health system; a state emergency was declared on Friday in Tokyo and 12 prefectures for three weeks, giving their governors to direct bars and restaurants to shut down early and limit or limit or limit stop the serving of alcohol.
Alongside the prefectures which have been preparing to request quasi-emergencies, seven other prefectures, including Fukuoka, Saga, and Oita, are in the process of making similar requests.
According to people familiar with the subject, the central government plans to decide by the end of next Tuesday on any requests for official approval from the prefectures.
The quasi-state of emergency has been put in effect in 16 prefectures. Following Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Okinawa were placed under the emergency measure beginning on Jan. 9 after a surge in the number of infections local officials believed were linked to close U.S. military bases.
Many regions have been struggling with the country’s sixth wave illnesses, driven in part by the transmissible Omicron variant. Japan’s total COVID-19 cases have reached 2 million.
In Osaka, hospital beds’ occupancy rate is used for patients with COVID-19 climbed to 35.8 percent on Thursday, which was higher than the 35% threshold required for the request for a quasi-emergency declaration.
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