Japan to Allow Declarations for Measures against BA.5 Omicron

Politics

Tokyo, July 29 (Jiji Press)--Amid the spread of the BA.5 omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Japanese government decided Friday to create a framework that lets prefectures make declarations for strengthening measures to combat the BA.5 variant, such as urging elderly people to refrain from going out and promoting early vaccinations.

The framework was approved by the government's coronavirus response headquarters the same day.

Prefectures will be allowed to make such declarations when there are strains on their medical systems, such as the occupancy rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients exceeding 50 pct and most patients having moderate to severe symptoms.

At a press conference on the day, economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, who is in charge of the government's novel coronavirus measures, stressed that activity restrictions, such as closure requests for restaurants and bars, are not supposed to be imposed under anti-BA.5 declarations.

"We will provide support, together with local governments, so that anti-infection measures can be balanced with economic and social activities," Yamagiwa said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press