Hitting The Fourth Wave: State of Emergency in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Tokyo
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared states of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures on Friday as the country resorts to contingency measures to contain a fourth wave of the coronavirus at least until 11th May 2021 as the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK spreads in the four prefectures.
Effective Sunday 25th April 2021, department stores, shopping centres, movie theatres and other large commercial facilities will be asked to close in the four prefectures. The declaration comes as Tokyo prepares to host the Summer Olympics tentatively to begin in July before Japan enters one of its biggest holiday seasons, Golden Week in late April. Dining establishments will be asked to close by 8 p.m, and those that serve alcohol or offers karaoke requested to suspend operations completely.
The first state of emergency encompassed a broad swath of business closure requests, the second was executed more on essential needs such as F&B for patrons to eat out. The third state of emergency is to reach a greater balance between virus containment and economic recovery before the Olympics.
The Olympic torch relay has been diverted away from public roads in Osaka. Statues of the mascots for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been officially unveiled, although they’re not yet on full public display due to fears about the spread of the coronavirus, according to public broadcaster NHK.
A total of 5452 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, Osaka recorded 1,162 new COVID-19 cases Friday, while Tokyo had 759. Spikes in new cases and hospitalizations are soaring toward the record heights that were seen at the start of 2021.
Source: japantimes, NHK. npr.org