“The surge in infections is reaching alarming record highs”, said Suga Yoshihide, the Prime Minister of Japan
TOKYO, JAPAN – On Monday 16th August, the government of Japan decided to extend the country’s current state of emergency even after September 12. The government previously decided that it would end the state of emergency on September 12, however the ever increasing COVID-19 cases in Japan have made them extend it.
Major states including Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and other are all under the state of emergency. This state of emergency began in July and people expected it to end with the closing of Tokyo Olympics. The number of cases, however have increased drastically after the Tokyo Olympics thus resulting in the state of emergency. With the current emergency schedule, the Tokyo Para Olympics will surely take place while emergency remains in force.
With thousands of new COVID-19 cases coming in each day, the situation in Japan is worsening. Amid this drastic increase in cases, the hospitals have also ran out of beds to accommodate patients.
The Prime Minister, Suga Yoshihide conducted a meeting with his ministers and discussed the current situation. Following the meeting, he talked about the situation saying that the cases are alarmingly high. He said that to tackle these increasing cases, cities including Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka will be moving towards emergency. Moreover eateries and bars are going to close at 8 p.m. and will not have the allowance to serve alcohol.
While discussing the hospital bed situation, Yoshihide said that the government is focused on creating more space for treating patients. In the meanwhile the government is informing patients at home about any bed that empties at any hospital.
Current COVID-19 situation in Japan
The COVID-19 situation is worsening each passing day. Just last weeks reports indicate that the number of daily COVID-19 cases are now crossing 5000 people. The spread of the virus is mainly happening in the central part of the country. Mayors of the central cities are in a state of shock after seeing the increasing COVID-19 cases. Which is why they have called upon the government to extend emergencies and discourage people from stepping outside their homes.
Suzuki Eikei, the governor of Mie prefecture, while referring to the situation said, “We feel the situation has reached an extremely serious and critical state that puts human life at risk”.
While vaccines rolled out quite a long time ago, Japan up until now has only been able to vaccinate around one third of its population. Japan’s vaccination program is currently proving to be slower than most under developed and developing nations.
With only a limited amount of people being vaccinated and the COVID-19 virus widely spreading, the number of severe COVID-19 patients have drastically increased. This increase in the amount of COVID-19 patients have caused many hospitals to run out of space and they are failing to take anymore people in. Things have come to a point where patients have to wait for days at home before they can be get into a hospital. Critiques pointed out this situation and called it a failure of Japanese health care system.
The Anti Olympics protest held throughout the event
The Japanese government in between all this chaos continued to go on with organizing the Olympics and the Para Olympics event. The Olympic despite being done with proper safety precautions while having no audience, is still facing criticism from Japanese people.
This is because these people oppose the idea of allowing ten thousands of athletes, sponsors and officials to enter the country with the COVID-19 situation being so bad. People also came out and blamed the Olympics event to be the reason behind increasing cases.
While some people only showed a discontent towards the Olympics being organized during a bad COVID-19 situation in Japan, others actually protested against it. Throughout the Tokyo Olympics, protestors on the outside of the stadium stood holding boards and posters that opposed the Olympics. “No Olympics. No Pandemic” was a popular slogan amongst the protestors outside the stadium.