As Japan grapples with four waves of the virus, with more than 4,000 daily cases, officials said Friday that the quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and five other prefectures will be extended to four additional areas next week.
The new measures will take effect on Tuesday and will last for three weeks. Local municipalities may ask restaurants and bars in the affected cities to close for up to 20 hours, while the presence of major events will be limited to 5,000. Areas facing new restrictions include three prefectures near Tokyo and one with a center in Nagoya, a manufacturing center. .
But many fear it is too little, too late. Osaka is severely affected by wool in cases, especially in more infectious variants. Hospitals face a shortage of beds and medical staff.
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A senior ruling party official said this week that canceling the games is still an option, depending on the pandemic situation. But Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto rejected the idea on Friday. “We do not intend to cancel the games. “We are focusing on the method by which we can achieve and ensure safe and secure games,” she told a news conference.