Japan to ease the Covid-19 state of emergency in the majority of prefectures
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Japan is to ease the state of emergency in the majority of prefectures. This is based on zero deaths to the low death toll in 34 out of 47 prefectures in Japan.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, the Minister of Economic Revitalization, and the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are viewing the bigger picture. Hence, the Modern Tokyo Times mentioned in several articles, the scaremongering of many media outlets didn’t fit the reality on the ground. After all, until last week, 34 out of 47 prefectures had either zero deaths to ten after more than three months.
Nishimura said, “We’re eyeing lifting the state of emergency declaration in many (prefectures).”
Caution will remain in all prefectures where restrictions are lifted. Indeed, a recent spike in new infections in a nightclub and sexual meeting area in Seoul (South Korea) is a grim reminder that social responsibility is a premium.
By easing restrictions on the majority of Japan the economy can keep on ticking. At the same time, Japan can focus on areas of concern. This applies to where deaths and infections remain a worry. Therefore, greater containment and resources can focus on Aichi, Chiba, Fukuoka, Gifu, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Saitama, and Tokyo.
Several internal and external media sources have been scaremongering beyond logic. Yet, on the ground, just over 600 deaths have been reported in nearly four months. This is a far cry from America, several European nations, Ecuador, and the recent concern of Brazil.
Amazingly, Reuters reported, “Reports in Japanese media citing an undisclosed health ministry projection said fatalities could reach the 400,000-mark without mitigation measures. It also estimated that as many as 850,000 people could need ventilators.”
Overall, it is correct to ease restrictions in the majority of prefectures while monitoring areas of concern. However, Japan should look at a current spike in South Korea and maintain measures on nightclubs, the sex trade, and other areas where infections can grow quickly. Similarly, internal travel between areas of concern needs to be contained.
At the moment, the only certainty about the coronavirus is uncertainty. Hence, it is essential to maintain social distancing and curtailing certain aspects of normality.
However, preparing for the worst-case scenario should remain. Therefore, weaknesses within the health care sector, supplies of essential products, care homes, and other important areas need enhancing.
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.
https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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