Govt. to introduce new system for prefectures to combat BA.5 subvariant

NHK -- Jul 30
The Japanese government on Friday decided to create a system that allows prefectures to take measures against the Omicron sub-variant BA.5 by announcing a declaration to intensify their responses to the strain.

Prefectural governments will be allowed to make the declaration when burdens on their medical institutions have increased, such as when hospital bed occupancy rates for COVID-19 patients exceed 50 percent.

After making a declaration, prefectures will call on residents to receive a vaccine shot early, and promote remote working, among other measures.

They will also ask seniors and people with underlying conditions to refrain from visiting crowded locations.

The central government will provide prefectures with instructions and advice for anti-infection measures and, if necessary, it will dispatch officials to act as coordinators.

The central government will purchase antigen test kits and distribute them to prefectures. It will also make efforts to increase the distribution volume of the kits to make it easier for people to obtain them at pharmacies. ...continue reading

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