Japan to lift COVID-19 state of emergency
Japan has had 1.69 million coronavirus cases and 17,500 deaths from the virus. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the pandemic state of emergency will end on Thursday and the government will gradually lift restrictions after that. It will mark the first time since April that the country will be free of any emergency constraints.
How is Japan handling the coronavirus? The infection rate began rising in July and spiked in mid-August right after the Tokyo Olympics. Suga is stepping down from his position as prime minister over opposition to his government’s health policies and his decision to host the Olympics during the pandemic. Japan has vaccinated roughly 58 percent of its residents, and the vaccinations minister—who is running for prime minister—said healthcare workers may begin receiving booster shots by the end of the year. Japan is not in a full lockdown, but it has limited gatherings and reduced hours for restaurants, commercial retailers, and bars.
Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in World Tour about a spike of suicides in Japan during the pandemic.
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