Japan keeps hitting new records in Covid-19 cases

Japan keeps hitting new records in its number of Covid-19 cases. Yesterday (Friday), there were over 190,000 cases in the island nation. On Thursday, there had been 186,246 cases. Last week, Japan hit a record of 110,600 cases.

This news comes as Japan faces a seventh wave of Covid, caused by the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant. BA.5 makes up nearly 100% of Japan’s cases. The country is now seeing the number of severely ill Covid-19 patients soar. The health ministry said that on June 21, local governments had reported 34 very ill patients. Two weeks later, that number climbed to 60.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the press on July 14 that he wasn’t planning to bring back movement restrictions, or strengthen border controls at that point. But in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, people have been urged to use the “highest level of vigilance” possible.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported this week that in Okinawa, groups of four people would be allowed to eat at restaurants. The groups would be allowed to spend two hours in restaurants at maximum. Okinawa residents have been asked to avoid non-essential outings. Japan’s central government, however, has not announced plans to bring back previous restrictions.

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The World Health Organisation warned last week that the Covid pandemic is far from finished. Subvarients of Omicron like BA.4 and BA.5 have emerged and spread the once-waning virus.

SOURCE: Kyodo News | Japan Times | The Guardian

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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