Japan is declaring a state of emergency in two more cities and one province has been severely affected by the Kovid-19 epidemic, the country said on Friday, a surprise move that reflects growing concern over its spread Coronavirus.
The latest statement comes at a time when Japan is facing a more contagious strain of the virus just 10 weeks before the Tokyo Olympics starting on July 23.
On Sunday, Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima will join Tokyo, Osaka and four other regions in a state of emergency by May 31, said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, also in charge of countermeasures to combat the virus.
With an eye on the economy, the government originally proposed a more specific “near-emergency” declaration for five additional cities.
“Experts told us that a strong message had to be sent to the public in view of the dire situation with the mutant strains,” Nishimura told Parliament, explaining the decision.
Less stringent measures will be expanded according to the plan.
The most recent actions are subject to 19 of the 47 Japanese municipalities, which are home to about 70% of the population, to restrictions, such as 8pm closing time for dining venues and alcohol consumption in most bars and restaurants Restriction.
The Dai-ichi Life Research Institute estimated that a state of emergency in nine countries could take the equivalent of $ 9.1 billion from gross domestic product (GDP) and eliminate 57,000 jobs in the coming months.
(Additional reporting by Joo-min Park, Daniel Lucink and Elaine Liese)