Japan will continue to close its borders to most foreigners until February to accelerate coronavirus booster shots for the elderly and expand hospital capacity to cope with the proliferation of Omicron variants. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Japan temporarily eased border control in November after a rapid decline in COVID-19 cases, but banned most foreign entrants after the emergence of highly infectious new variants. I immediately revived it.
Fumio Kishida said strict border control slowed the spread of variants and helped “purchase time” to prepare for an imminent surge.
There were few cases in Japan until late December, after which the number of infectious diseases reached thousands per day.
Last week, Fumio Kishida put the prefectures (Okinawa, Yamaguchi, Hiroshima) where the infection was thought to have spread from the US military base in the state before the emergency, and requested that the restaurant’s business hours be shortened.
However, the rollout of additional vaccines, which began with healthcare professionals in December, has been delayed. As of Friday, only 0.6 percent of Japan’s population has received a third shot, and experts urge the government to speed up doses for the elderly.
Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto said on Tuesday that local governments were delaying preparations, not a shortage of imported vaccines.
Fumio Kishida said government and local government mass vaccination centers will be set up to accelerate booster shots.
During the New Year holidays and the three-day weekend, many Japanese are concerned about a further surge in incidents following travel and party times.
On Monday, Tokyo reported 871 new COVID-19 cases. This is an eight-fold increase over a week ago. Nationwide, Japan reported 6438 new cases, totaling about 1.77 million, including about 18,400 deaths.
According to experts, the majority of cases are now caused by Omicron.
Fumio Kishida said there are still many “unknowns” about Omicrons, but they may be milder and less deadly than previous variants.
That may mean that more patients are at home. According to Fumio Kishida, the government is working to strengthen remote monitoring and medical care by local doctors.
“We are flexible in responding to new discoveries,” said Fumio Kishida. “The important thing is to save people’s lives.”
Japan continues border control due to the rapid increase in COVID
Source link Japan continues border control due to the rapid increase in COVID