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Japan to expand COVID-19 emergency in 7 more prefectures

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-08-17 09:08
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People wearing masks for protection against the coronavirus walk at a shinkansen bullet train platform at Tokyo Station on Aug 14, 2021. [Photo/IC]

TOKYO - Japan's government plans to expand the COVID-19 state of emergency to seven more prefectures from Friday to Sept 12 and extend the duration of the state of emergency taking place in Tokyo and four other prefectures in line with that of seven new prefectures, local media reported Monday.

Under the state of emergency, establishments serving alcohol or offering karaoke are asked to suspend their businesses during the period, while those not serving liquor are requested to close at 8 pm local time.

Quasi-emergency measures, under which governors could determine serving hours for alcohol at establishments taking anti-virus steps after considering infection trends, will be expanded to 16 prefectures from Friday to September 12.

A government task force plan will formally endorse the decision after the government's COVID-19 advisory panel approves the plan on Tuesday.

A total of 14,854 daily COVID-19 infections were reported Monday nationwide, rising about 2,700 from a week earlier.

Of the total, Tokyo contributed 2,962 cases, Kanagawa confirmed 2,584, Chiba reported 1,609, and Saitama logged 1,301. In addition, according to the tally, the daily COVID-19 infections in Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, as well as those in Toyama and Saga prefectures, hit record highs.

Earlier in the day, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan has secured enough "antibody cocktails" to prevent COVID-19 patients from developing severe symptoms, as he visited a Tokyo hotel that conducts the treatment amid an increasing strain on hospitals.

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