Coronavirus cases are growing in Japan following year-end and New Year’s holidays. The autorities decided to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and three nearby areas on Thursday, until February 7. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued the declaration at the government task force for the coronavirus. No penalties were specified but people were requested to stay home and not mingle in crowds. „I am confident we can overcome this, but I must ask all of you to endure a restricted life for a while longer,” Suga added.
“Please take this matter seriously as your own, to protect all precious life, your parents, your grandparents, family and friends, over generations,” he insisted. Dr. Hiroshi Nishiura, an expert on infectious diseases, said the rate of increase in number of cases will decline but infections will continue to rise. Vaccinations are expected to start next month in Japan, with health and essential workers first. Keeping COVID-19 infections under control is imperative for Japan with the Tokyo Olympics set for July. Japanese tend to follow orders from authorities, even without the threat of penalties. A strict lockdown, like ones in Europe, is not being considered.