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Japan PM Declares State of Emergency in Tokyo

In World
January 07, 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which also included the Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, authorising tougher measures to fight a recent Covid-19 resurgence.

The state of emergency will come into effect on Friday until February 7, Xinhua news agency reported.

The measures will include restaurants and bars having to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m.

Gyms, department stores and entertainment facilities will also be subject to shorter operational hours.

As the government has set the goal of reducing the number of people in the office by 70 per cent, it also urged companies to have employees work from home or stagger their shifts.

Meanwhile, events will be capped at 5,000 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity.

A state of emergency was first declared in Tokyo and six other prefectures on April 7, 2020.

It was later expanded to cover the whole country before being lifted in late May.

The new emergency declaration came as Tokyo reported a record 2,447 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, breaking the previous record of 1,591 infections.

The measures are more relaxed compared to those under the previous state of emergency and there will be no punishment for those that fail to comply.

Since the onset of the pandemic earlier last year, Japan has so far registered more than 260,000 coronavirus cases and 3,609 deaths.