Japan poised to widen COVID-19 controls as Omicron drives record infections

Japan poised to widen COVID-19 controls as Omicron drives record infections
# 19 January 2022 09:20 (UTC +04:00)

Japan was poised on Wednesday to widen COVID-19 controls to cover half its population as the Omicron variant drives new infections to record levels, APA reports citing Reuters.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to officially approve the plan after it was cleared by an expert panel.

The so-called quasi-emergency measures permit governors to impose curbs on mobility and business, including shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants, as well as prohibitions on alcohol sales.

The measures, already in place in three regions, will widen to cover Tokyo and 12 other prefectures, lasting from Friday until Feb. 13.

Japan recorded more than 32,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, according to a tally by national broadcaster NHK, exceeding the previous high seen in August shortly after Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics.

The western prefecture of Osaka posted a record 5,396 new cases, while Tokyo had 5,185, the highest since Aug. 21.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED