Japan declares quasi-emergency for 3 prefectures

NHK -- Jan 07
Japan is imposing stricter coronavirus measures in response to a spike in cases. The government has declared a quasi-emergency in three prefectures where the virus is quickly spreading.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said, "We've decided to apply this intensive measure to curb the spread of infection in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Okinawa prefectures. It will be in place from January 9th to January 31st."

The measure will allow governors in the three prefectures to impose targeted measures in areas where there are outbreaks. The move is aimed at ensuring medical systems are not overwhelmed.

Local officials will be able to ask bars and restaurants to take stricter precautions. That could mean stopping alcohol sales, closing early or limiting the number of customers.

Okinawa reported more than 1,400 new cases on Friday, setting a record for the second day in a row. The tally does not include more than 250 new infections reported by US military bases in the prefecture.

Officials in Yamaguchi have likewise seen a spike in on-base cases followed by rising cases in the city that hosts it.

The mayor has suggested the highly-transmissible Omicron variant is spilling out of the US base. Case counts are also rising sharply in neighboring Hiroshima Prefecture.

新型コロナウイルスについて東京では7日、新たに922人の新規陽性確認がありました。  こうしたなか、東京都はまもなく飲食店の人数制限を8人から4人にすることを正式に決定します。 - ANNnewsCH