Covid-19 news: Japan to declare state of emergency ahead of Olympics
Japan to declare a state of emergency in big cities to try to halt a rise in cases ahead of the Olympics
With coronavirus case numbers rising three months before the Olympics are due to begin, Japan will declare a state of emergency in big cities including Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto between 25 April and 11 May. This will allow the government to impose restrictions such as a ban on the sale of alcohol at all venues and the closure of many entertainment venues such as cinemas. People will be asked to work from home but schools will remain open. The restrictions cover the Golden Week holiday period when many people usually travel.
“If the Olympics are really going to be held in July, I think the infections need to settle down by late May or early June,” Haruka Sakamoto, a public health researcher at the University of Tokyo told the The Japan Times. “Therefore, the government is making stronger interventions relatively early on.”
Japan has been more successful at limiting the spread of the virus than many other countries. It has reported around 550,000 cases and 10,000 deaths, compared with 4.4 million cases and 130,000 deaths in the UK. It is currently reporting 36 cases per million people per day, compared with 37 in the UK, 200 in India, 250 in Germany and 700 in Turkey. However, new variants are spreading despite some local restrictions imposed after another state of emergency ended earlier this year.
Other coronavirus news
Australia is imposing a three-day lockdown in Perth and the adjoining Peel region after a person who tested positive for covid-19 visited various sites in the region. The individual had been in hotel quarantine and tested negative at the end of it. But another test done five days later was positive.
A single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of infection by two-thirds, according to an analysis of the test results of 350,000 people in the UK in the past few months. From 21 days after the dose, people were 57 per cent less likely to get asymptomatic infections and 72 per cent less likely to get symptomatic infections compared with those who had not been vaccinated.
India has reported 332,730 new daily coronavirus cases, setting a new global record for a second successive day. Hospitals in New Delhi are pleading with the government for more oxygen supplies and saying they may not be able to admit new patients.
Some mass vaccination sites in the US are being closed down as demand falls, according to The New York Times. More than half of adults in the US have now had at least one vaccine dose. “We got about 50 per cent of our people vaccinated,” the chief public health officer in Galveston County, Texas, told the paper. “We recognise that next 25 per cent is going to be a lot harder than the first.”
The worldwide covid-19 death toll has passed 3.08 million. The number of confirmed cases is more than 144.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher. According to Our World In Data, more than 534 million people globally have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-japan-to-declare-state-of-emergency-ahead-of-olympics/#ixzz6t74hw7h9