Japan expands virus alerts in the Tokyo area amid a rapid increase

Tokyo (AP) —Japan raises coronavirus alert levels in three neighboring prefectures of Tokyo and the fourth region of the Chubu region, advancing the Olympics as more infectious coronavirus variants spread We will take stricter measures with doubts about whether we can do it.

The move happens only four days after Tokyo is on alert, even though the vaccination campaign covers less than 1% of the population.

The government will officially approve the alertness of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Aichi prefectures at a meeting late Friday. This allows the head of the prefecture to mandate reductions in bar and restaurant time, as well as punishment for offenders and compensation for followers.

Measures will begin on Monday and will continue until May 11.

Many cases are related to nightlife and dining spots, but more recently they have spread to offices, long-term care facilities and schools.

Japan added about 4,300 cases on Wednesday, killing a total of about 500,000 and 9,500.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the measure was targeted at areas that were hit by a rapid surge caused by the first new viral variant detected in the United Kingdom. “The government will respond well during my trip to the United States,” he said before leaving for Washington for a meeting with President Joe Biden.

The Suga administration has been criticized for taking anti-virus measures too late because it hesitates to hurt the economy further.

This surge also raised concerns among many Japanese about hosting the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August. 8. On Thursday, two senior officials said the game could be canceled or, if progressed, there could be no fans.

Although the new warning contains binding orders, some experts doubt its effectiveness, as companies will only close early and measures against residents are only a requirement. I will.

Osaka recently declared emergency medical care after the hospital was overwhelmed by new cases and removed the Olympic torch relay from public roads next week.