Miyagi, Niigata, Okayama Issues Declarations on Fight against BA.5

Society Health

Tokyo, Aug. 5 (Jiji Press)--Three more prefectures in Japan issued on Friday declarations for beefing up measures against the rapidly spreading BA.5 omicron subvariant of the novel coronavirus.

The declarations, intended to help ease the squeeze on the local medical systems, will be effective until Aug. 31. The three are the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi, the central prefecture of Niigata and the western prefecture of Okayama.

"How we can protect elderly people is important," Niigata Governor Hideyo Hanazumi told Friday's meeting of the prefecture's COVID-19 response headquarters, urging local residents to make sure that they wear face masks, among other measures.

The Okayama prefectural government called on elderly and other people at high risk of developing severe symptoms to avoid visiting crowded places.

The declaration for stepped-up measures against BA.5 can be issued by prefectural governments at their own decisions based on criteria such as the COVID-19 hospital bed occupancy rate topping 50 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press