Japan to widen virus emergency after record spike amid Games

A government panel approved the plan putting Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, as well as Osaka, under the state of emergency from Monday until Aug. 31.

covid 19 cases in japan
Nationwide, Japan reported 10,687 confirmed cases Thursday, exceeding 10,000 for the first time. (Photo source: AP)

Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo on Friday following record spikes in infections as the capital hosts the Olympics. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared an emergency in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, near Tokyo, as well as in the western city of Osaka, effective Monday until Aug 31. Emergency measures already in place in Tokyo will be extended until the end of August, after the Olympics and well into the Paralympics which start Aug. 24.

Tokyo has reported a record increase in cases for three days in a row, including 3,865 on Thursday, before logging another 3,300 on Friday. The cases have doubled since last week, although officials say the surge is unrelated to the Olympics.

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