Japan to extend Tokyo state of emergency due to COVID-19

TOKYO, Japan: The Japanese government plans to extend the Tokyo emergency until the last week of September, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Japan last month expanded the system until Sept. 12 to cover at least 80 percent of the population, but the measures did not reduce the number of serious cases and increased pressure on the health system in Tokyo and its neighboring region.

The government also plans to extend the state of emergency in Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba counties.

As part of these measures, restaurants, and eateries were asked to reduce their hours and not provide alcohol, while companies were encouraged to allow employees to work from home.

This extension will last until the fourth week of September, coinciding with the two holidays and the time when most people travel.

In addition, the Japanese government is considering extensions to the affected areas in western and central Japan, including Osaka and Aichi, and a decision will be made next week.

It plans to increase or decrease the state of emergency in areas where hospital stay rates have returned to a level that was not necessary, authorities said.

Japan sees the Delta’s fifth-largest airborne COVID-19 of the highly contagious type, recording 63 deaths on Friday, as well as 16,729 new cases per day.