Japan widens curbs as daily cases surge past 60,000
The Straits Times|January 26, 2022
More areas to face quasi-emergency rules; business lobby criticises closed borders
Walter Sim

 

Japan breached 60,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time yesterday, just three days after infections crossed the 50,000 mark, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida widened quasi-emergency curbs to 18 more prefectures.

Mr Kishida, in his sternest political test, is fighting a battle to put a lid on Covid-19 amid the ferocious spread of the Omicron variant.

The quasi-emergency declaration is already in effect in 16 prefectures, including Okinawa, Hiroshima, Tokyo and Aichi. The expansion from tomorrow will put 34 of Japan’s 47 prefectures under the measures, including Hokkaido, Osaka and Fukuoka.

Mr Kishida said on Monday a more forceful state of emergency remains unnecessary, noting that the ratio of serious cases is low. He said that despite record-busting figures, the infection rate was “clearly slowing in some areas”.

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