Tokyo skyline, Shinjuku
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Japan could declare another state of emergency – if the Covid-19 surge continues

The next three weeks are crucial to see if Japan can get the coronavirus under control

Lim Chee Wah
Written by
Lim Chee Wah

This is not a drill. According to The Japan Times, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister overseeing the country’s coronavirus measures, has warned that a state of emergency ‘may have to be imposed’ if coronavirus continues to spread over the next three weeks.

It’s crucial, now more than ever, to take strong preventive measures to curb the virus spread so as not to burden the country’s medical facilities. As cited in the same news report, Toshio Nakagawa, head of the Japan Medical Association, said that the country’s medical system is ‘on the brink of collapsing’. As such, people are advised against travelling to and from areas where coronavirus is prevalent. 

Several prefectures, and the country as a whole, are currently seeing unprecedented numbers of daily new infections. As a result, Osaka and Sapporo have been taken off the Go to Travel campaign temporarily until December 15. If you have booked a trip to these two destinations, you now have a few options moving forward, including free cancellation.

While Tokyo is still eligible for the Go to Travel discounts at the time of writing, the metropolis raised its Covid-19 alert to the highest level last Thursday November 19. Just yesterday, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged restaurants and bars in the 23 central wards to close early at 10pm, effective from Saturday November 28 until Thursday December 17. Businesses that comply will receive financial compensation of ¥400,000. Residents are also advised to stay home and avoid going out for non-essential reasons.

As of yesterday, November 25, there are 38,197 Covid-19 cases in Tokyo.

Follow live updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Tokyo and Japan here.

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