Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto to Also Request COVID-19 Quasi-State of Emergency
posted on by Alex Mateo
Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto are requesting a quasi-state of emergency amid the rise of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country due to the new Omicron variant. Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi stated that intensive measures will help slow the wave of infections, reducing the strain on the medical system.
The Japanese government declared a quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gunma, Kagawa, Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Niigata, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki prefectures after their respective governors revealed their intentions to ask for the quasi-state of emergency amid the rise of COVID-19. The national government granted the requests on Wednesday from these 13 prefectures from January 21 to February 13.
Hokkaido is also considering requesting a quasi-state of emergency, as daily case counts exceeded 1,400 on Thursday, a record high for the second day in a row.
The country as a whole reported more than 20,000 new cases of the virus nationwide for eight consecutive days as of Thursday. Japan reported 46,200 new cases on Thursday, a record high for the third day in a row. In Tokyo, the occupancy rate of hospital beds is now above 20%, which is the threshold the Tokyo government views as needed to ask the national government to implement a quasi-state of emergency. Tokyo reported 8,600 cases on Thursday.
Relatedly, while the government still has a ban on new foreign entrants in place until the end of February, the country does plan to allow 87 foreign students to enter the country as a special case.
Japan declared a quasi-state of emergency in Okinawa, Yamaguchi, and Hiroshima prefectures earlier this month, which is planned to last from January 9-31.
Previous quasi-states of emergency, which have less strict guidelines compared to a full state of emergency, have asked dining and drinking establishments to stop selling alcohol, limit their hours, and limit the number of customers. They have also offered some financial compensation to businesses that comply with the guidelines, and they imposed additional anti-virus measures.
Japan last ended a full state of emergency in 19 prefectures last September. That state of emergency started in July (although Okinawa had then already been under a state of emergency for four months).