TOKYO, Japan: The Japanese government plans to extend Tokyo’s state of emergency until the last week of September, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Japan, last month, expanded the measures until 12th September to cover at least 80 percent of its population, but the measures did not reduce the number of severe cases and the mounting pressure on the health system in Tokyo and neighboring areas.
The government also plans to extend the state of emergency in the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba.
As part of the measures, restaurants were requested to reduce their hours and not serve alcohol, while companies were encouraged to allow staff to work from home.
The extension will last until the fourth week of September, coinciding with two public holidays and the period when many people usually travel.
Additionally, the Japanese government is considering extensions in affected areas in western and central Japan, including Osaka and Aichi, with a decision likely to be made next week.
It also plans to lift or downgrade the states of emergency in prefectures where hospital bed occupancy rates are back to non-critical levels, officials said.
Japan is experiencing its fifth and most serious COVID-19 wave driven by the highly infectious Delta variant, with 63 deaths being recorded on Friday, along with 16,729 new daily cases.