Japan’s Government Plans to Extend COVID Lockdown
10 hours ago0
Japan’s government planned on Monday to extend its nationwide state of emergency until the end of May as it is bracing for a lengthy fight against the coronavirus pandemic. On April 7, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proclaimed an initial month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other areas, later extending it to include the country as a whole. It is due to expire on Wednesday but it is expected that Abe will announce an extension to May 31 after consulting experts on infectious diseases. At a news conference later Monday he is to clarify the government’s decision.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said she had informed Yasutoshi Nishimura, Abe’s minister responsible for the virus outbreak, about the government’s decision to expand it.
The fight against the virus was far from over as experts met Monday, Nishimura said.
Japan’s state of emergency is much less stringent than policies seen in areas of Europe and the US. It helps governors to encourage people to stay home and to call on corporations to stay shut. But officials can not force people to obey, and those who fail to do so are punished. Media said the government will continue to encourage citizens in 13 high-risk prefectures, including the largest cities in Japan, to slash people-to-person interaction by 80 per cent and follow other stringent social distancing laws.
Museums, Libraries to Likely Reopen
But museums, libraries, and certain other buildings will likely be able to reopen as long as anti-virus steps are taken. Prefectures permit to relax restrictions on closures of businesses. Also, small gatherings for the rest of Japan but people stay at home. Bars and night clubs are being told to stay closed. Japan has reported a fairly small outbreak so far, with more than 15,000 infections and 510 deaths.
But there were persistent concerns about an increase in infections that could rapidly overwhelm the health-care system in the country. Doctors’ groups warn that hospitals still spread thin. It is with officials in Osaka also calling for raincoat donations to act as protective gear. It is for health workers who stuck using garbage bags.
Measures place in place to try to ease the burden. It includes sending coronavirus patients with mild symptoms to hotels. It is for isolation rather than overcrowd hospitals to detain them. The government has also said that it is a growing testing ability. But continues criticizing for the relatively small number of tests conduct, partially due to strict criteria.