Japan’s vaccination campaign and distance rules are working: the now fifth corona emergency is expected to end soon.
Tokyo (dpa) – Japan will lift the Corona emergency at the end of the month. This was announced by outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. After the planned end of the measures on September 30, for the first time since the beginning of April, no region of the island kingdom is in a state of emergency or near-emergency.
The number of new infections and patients with severe symptoms has dropped dramatically, Suga told parliament. The restrictions are gradually relaxed. The state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other prefectures basically states that restaurants do not serve alcohol and close earlier. Now alcohol is allowed again, but restaurants are ordered to close even a month earlier.
Japan had repeatedly extended and extended what was now the fifth state of emergency. However, Japan has never imposed containment with strict curfews like in other countries since the start of the pandemic.
The head of government resigns
The island nation has around 1.7 million infections and 17,500 deaths from Covid-19. The infection situation started to worsen again in July and reached its preliminary peak in mid-August after the Olympics. In Tokyo alone, new infections reached more than 5,000 cases in one day. The health care system threatened to collapse. Thousands of patients had to stay at home because a hospital bed could not be found.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced his resignation due to criticism of his corona policy. This Wednesday, his ruling party, the PLD, will elect a successor.
The fact that new infections nationwide have now fallen to around 2,000 cases per day – less than a tenth from the peak in mid-August – experts attribute, among other things, to the acceleration of the process vaccination, which started very late. 56 percent of the population are now fully immunized. Also, more and more people are trying to keep their distance because the health care system is so stressed.