Japan to expand state of emergency as COVID-19 shadows Olympics
Japan's government on Friday proposed states of emergency through Aug. 31 in three prefectures near Olympic host Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka, as COVID-19 cases spike to records, overshadowing the Summer Games, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Existing states of emergency for Tokyo - its fourth since the pandemic began - and southern Okinawa island should also be extended to Aug. 31, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is spearheading Japan's pandemic response, told a panel of experts in announcing the proposed expansion.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to formally announce the move later on Friday after the experts approved it.
Japan has avoided a devastating COVID-19 outbreak, but is now struggling to contain the highly transmissible Delta variant, with daily cases nationwide topping 10,000 for the first time on Thursday, media reported.