Japan’s health minister said the government is taking every precaution to contain a possible eighth wave in the COVID-19 pandemic this winter following a spike in cases nationwide.
Étiqueté : Asahi shimbun
Individual foreign tourists could finally enter Japan with few restrictions on Oct. 11, when the government lifted most of its remaining COVID-19 border controls. Gone is the unpopular requirement that tourists must travel on package tours to be allowed into Japan. The government also removed its cap on daily arrivals and resumed visa-free entry for short-term travelers from visa-exempt countries or regions.
NAHA–Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said he is considering asking the central government to declare pre-emergency measures to stem the latest surge in novel coronavirus infections in the prefecture. Tamaki told a news conference on Jan. 4 that he believes the sixth wave of COVID-19 has already hit Okinawa Prefecture.
The much-ridiculed “Abenomask” was apparently so unpopular that millions of the cloth masks have gone unused and are languishing in storage.
Despite the number of new COVID-19 cases trending downward nationally, hospital bed occupancy rates in nine prefectures still top 50 percent, making it unsafe to lift the state of emergency there, health experts said on Sept. 16.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration gave its final approval on Sept. 9 for extending the current state of emergency declared over the latest phase of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Young people standing in a long line is a common sight in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, but this time they weren’t waiting to buy concert tickets or a trendy new beverage. Instead, they were waiting at a special COVID-19 vaccination center set up for young people by the Tokyo metropolitan government on Aug. 27.
Forty of Japan’s 47 prefectures are now in the most serious Stage 4 level of “explosive growth” in novel coronavirus infections.
The novel coronavirus spread has “reached an unprecedented level” in Japan, with around half of the 47 prefectures now in the most serious stage in terms of rate of new infections, a health ministry expert panel said.
The government’s new policy of providing hospital treatment only for COVID-19 patients in serious condition or at high risk of becoming severely ill has sparked criticism that other infected people are being “abandoned.”
The resurgent number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo has raised concerns among government officials that the Olympic Games could be held without spectators after all.
Japan’s top coronavirus adviser said Wednesday it is “not normal” to host this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the coronavirus pandemic. Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease expert who heads a government subcommittee on the coronavirus, also said the Tokyo Games organizing committee is responsible for drawing up sufficient anti-virus measures to ensure the safety of the participants.
A “ho-hum” attitude was expressed among commuters, businesses and the general public on the first day of the extended state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many said the declaration has no effect on their lives. Some were elated that the government allowed for an easing of anti-virus measures, but others questioned if those relaxed rules were sending a mixed signal on the seriousness of the novel coronavirus situation.
Vaccinations of people 65 or older against the novel coronavirus started in a limited number of municipalities in Japan on April 12 amid calls to the central government to increase the supply of doses.
MATSUE–Shimane Governor Tatsuya Maruyama traveled 600 kilometers to Tokyo to demand additional pandemic-related support measures while his prefectural government issued a warning about canceling its portion of the Olympic torch relay.