The country reported 4,527 new cases and 51 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the national total to nearly 300,000 and the death toll at 4,158. There are more than 61,500 patients in hospitals across the country, and they have been struggling to cope with the surge in cases caused by rising winter temperatures.
Tokyo was originally one of the worst-hit areas. On Tuesday, 970 new cases were reported. This is the first time the daily average total number in the Japanese capital fell below 1,000 in a week. The total number of confirmed cases in Tokyo is currently 77,133.
The new announcement expands orders to Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Toki and Fukuoka, covering Japan̵
The state of emergency ordered the company to encourage its employees to work from home and reduce the number of people in the office by 70%. Residents in the affected areas are also urged to avoid unnecessary outings. The restaurant must stop drinking before 7pm and close before 8pm.
Japan also requires sports and entertainment activities to limit the number of participants.
After Suga announced the expansion measures on Wednesday, he asked the public to cooperate.
He said: “I hope people understand that this is an indispensable measure to improve this difficult situation. We will do our best. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to your life, but we must overcome this difficulty. .” Press conference.
“I want the cooperation of the people.”
However, unlike other countries that have adopted lock-in measures and social isolation measures, Japan lacks many legal powers to enforce government orders. The country also suffers from coronavirus fatigue, which is one of the earliest countries to suffer from the epidemic, and there has been mixed information in recent months.
After the Tokyo emergency order was issued, Nakashi Kamiya, a physician and member of the government expert advisory committee, told CNN’s TV Asahi, “There is not enough time to curb the surge in infections. We need to reduce more people and Contact between people.”
It is believed that Japanese officials are cautious about introducing a total blockade or other stricter emergency measures because they are worried about harming the economy. The country is also facing difficult decisions around the Olympic Games, which was originally scheduled to be held last summer, but was eventually postponed due to the pandemic spreading around the world.
According to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 this summer. The opening and closing ceremonies will be reduced at that time to “simplify the overall thinking of the Olympic Games.”
Last week, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government stated that it would postpone the upcoming Tokyo Olympic torch exhibition “to reduce the movement of people and prevent the spread of Covid-19.” Since November, the torch has been exhibited in multiple cities and will restart this week.
Chairman Yoshiro Mori said in his New Year’s address to the 2020 Tokyo Organizing Committee staff this week that the preparations will be “as planned”, adding: “I think if I scratch my head or show indecision, everything will be affected. .”
Sen said: “We will work with you to get out of this dark tunnel. I hope everyone will do everything possible to make many people happy and hopeful until the end, because spring is after winter, and morning is always after long night.” .
In an interview with CNN, former senior IOC official Punk said that it is unlikely that the Olympics will be postponed again, so any additional delays may mean that the Olympics will be cancelled.
He said: “Postponing for one year is a Japanese proposal. The organizing committee said, “It seems that we can merge it for another year, but we cannot extend it again.” “For example, postponing it for one year will cost A huge price, and Japan may not want to pay a huge price for it. This will make sports events more crowded… You will participate in the World Cup and football matches. At some point, there will be too much congestion in the entire system. “
He refuted the suggestion that the Tokyo Olympics could be moved to 2024, and all planned host cities moved forward in turn from people “without any idea about the concept (planned) in real life”.
CNN’s James Griffiths contributed reports from Hong Kong.