Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan brings back virus restrictions as Omicron surges across country



Japan brings back virus restrictions as Omicron surges across country

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People wearing face masks walk at Shinagawa station in Tokyo on Tuesday as Japan reported a record high of new Covid-19 infections fuelled by the Omicron variant. AFP

Japan brings back virus restrictions as Omicron surges across country

Japan is set to approve new coronavirus restrictions on a large part of the country, including Tokyo, on January 19 as it battles record infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.

Final approval from the government is expected later in the day, but on the morning of January 19, experts backed placing 13 regions “under quasi-emergency measures from January 21 to February 13” Daishiro Yamagiwa, minister in charge of the coronavirus affairs, told reporters.

The move allows each region to decide what specific measures to implement, but local media said the restrictions were likely to include shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants and possible restrictions on alcohol sales.

The highly infectious Omicron variant is driving a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with daily nationwide infections topping 30,000 for the first time this week, according to media tallies.

Japan has still been less hard hit than many countries, with around 18,400 deaths in the pandemic while avoiding strict lockdowns.

But government officials and experts are worried that rising infections could put pressure on the country’s medical system.

Three Japanese regions are already under virus restrictions, after surges in cases linked to US military bases.

More than 78 per cent of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated, but the programme began later than in some other developed countries.

So far, just 1.2 per cent of the population has received a booster shot.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment