Japan Expands COVID-19 State of Emergency
Tokyo, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Tuesday it will extend its state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic until Sept. 12 while adding seven prefectures to the list due to a surge in infections.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told the government's COVID-19 response task force that infections are spreading at an unprecedented pace amid the raging delta variant.
The number of severely ill patients is growing rapidly and the medical system, especially in the Tokyo metropolitan area, is in an "extremely tough situation," Suga said.
The government will add Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka to the state of emergency list, effective Friday. The emergency already in place in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka and Okinawa was previously set to expire at the end of August.
Tuesday's decision means that the Tokyo Paralympics, scheduled for Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, will take place under the state of emergency.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]