Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has decided this Thursday to re-declare a state of emergency in the Tokyo area, an alert that will be in effect until August 22 and will coincide with the celebration of the Olympic Games.
The state of emergency will enter into force on Monday, July 12 to curb the increase in COVID-19 cases in the capital, Suga said after meeting with the government committee that manages the pandemic, although in practice the measure will not mean much change. with the current situation, apart from a tightening of restrictions for businesses.
The Asian country has also decided to extend this level of alert in the Okinawa region (southwest), where it was already active, and maintain certain restrictions in the prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, adjacent to Tokyo and where they will also be disputed. Games competitions.
In Osaka prefecture (west) the measures will also be maintained, while in five other provinces (Hokkaido, Kyoto, Aichi, Hyogo and Fukuoka) they will be lifted from Monday.
The Japanese prime minister will give a press conference in the next few hours to explain the decision in detail.
Meeting to discuss public attendance at the Games
The new declaration of health emergency, the fourth for Tokyo, could affect public attendance at the Olympic sports venues in the capital and its surroundings.
The organizers of the event, which is scheduled to open on July 23, have never ruled out holding closed-door competitions based on the epidemic situation, however, they recently announced that they planned to allow the entry of up to 10,000 spectators or half of the capacity of the facilities.
The authorities would now be considering reducing the figure to 5,000 or even zero, or holding behind closed doors the tests that begin after 9 pm, including the opening and closing ceremonies, according to leaks to the local media.
Representatives of the Japanese organizing committee, the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and the Tokyo authorities and the Japanese central government are scheduled to meet to discuss the matter and make a decision.
The Japanese government initially planned to maintain certain restrictions without declaring the maximum level of alert during the atypical international sports competition, which was postponed for a year due to the pandemic, but has been forced to change its position due to the strong increase in infections in the capital. .
Tokyo registered this Thursday a daily figure of 896 new cases of COVID, after accounting for 920 on the eve, an amount that it had not recorded since May, when the previous state of emergency was still in place in the most populated areas of the territory.