After experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Japanese government decided to expand its state of emergency to Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo on Monday, January 11. The three prefectures had asked the central government to expand the state of emergency in order to contain the outbreak. Japan has already declared a state of emergency for Tokyo until February 7.
According to Japan Times reports, Aichi and Gifu prefectures are also mulling over sending a request to the centre to impose a state of emergency. Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura said that he will be working with Gifu authorities and ask the central government to expand the emergency declaration.
Omura also said that he will be arranging an online conference with Japanese economic revitalisation minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is also overseeing the government’s response against the COVID-19 virus. According to a tally by the John Hopkins University, Japan has a total of 286,752 cases with over 4,000 fatalities.
Also, this comes a day after four travellers, who arrived in Japan from Brazil, were found to be infected by a new COVID-19 strain that is different from those in Britain and South Africa. Head of country’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) informed same on January 10. Speaking at a press briefing, Takaji Wakita reckoned he now believes that a third mutant of the SARS-CoV-2 has been found.
On December 28, the country detected one case of the new coronavirus variant 501.V2 from South Africa, the government announced in a statement. Several cases of the new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant spreading in the UK have been already found in Japan among people who had recently arrived from the British islands. According to the Japan Times, the case of the South Africa variant had been identified in a woman in her 30s who arrived in Japan on Dec. 19. Health officials said that the variant might be responsible for the sudden surge in the COVID-19 outbreak across Japan.