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Japan extends emergency status as Delta cases skyrocket

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Increasing hospitalisations, growing cases and the Paralympics fast approaching – the factors contributing to an extended state of emergency.

Crowds in Japan despite growing Delta outbreak

Japan’s state of emergency status in place for Tokyo is set to expand in an attempt to curb the Delta outbreak.

The current virus emergency now in place will soon cover seven more prefectures, bringing the total to 13. 

An announcement with the exact details is expected to occur at 8pm Singapore time, with Japan’s Prime Minister holding a press conference to discuss the impending situation. 

The move comes following an increase in positive cases, which is putting strain on the country’s healthcare system.

A rise in Delta variant cases is seeing an increase in hospitalisations with many patients requiring intensive care. 

“The health-care system is in a very severe situation and experts are saying it’s near disaster levels,” COVID-19 Czar and Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told an advisory panel.

COVID-19 cases in Japan have soared, reaching levels twice the amount of previous peaks. 

The extension comes in time for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics which is planned to commence on August 24.  

The emergency status is set to last for the duration of the games, scheduled to conclude on September 12. 

Despite the extension, support for Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is diminishing.

A poll conducted by Kyodo News from August 14 to August 16 reveals that support for Mr Suga’s cabinet has plummeted by 31 percent, with many dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the pandemic. 

While case numbers continue to grow, Mr Suga refuses to enforce a mandatory lockdown, saying that it wouldn’t be accepted in Japan. 

Instead he is relying on Japan’s vaccine roll-out, like many other countries, in hope that it improves the situation.   

Written by Rebecca Borg

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