Osaka and Kyoto call for COVID-19 state of emergency
Nikkei -- Jan 09
The governors of the greater Osaka area will urge Japan's national government to expand its coronavirus state of emergency to include their prefectures, as the localities set daily records for the spread of infections.

A state of emergency declared Thursday covered Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures. Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo will submit a formal request as early as Friday to be added to that list.

Aichi Prefecture, which is home to the city of Nagoya, and neighboring Gifu Prefecture also plan to make a similar request. Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, is also considering a similar request.

"Cases have surged in the past two days, and we need to take the same restrictions as the capital region immediately," Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said at a Thursday meeting.

"Kyoto's new cases per 100,000 people are extremely high, so we must act quickly," Kyoto Gov. Takatoshi Nishiwaki also said.

Yoshimura had been hesitant to bring Osaka under a state of emergency. But the prefecture topped its records for new daily cases for three straight days through Thursday, largely attributed to parties and other end-of-year gatherings. Weekly infections surged 38% in the first week of this month after falling steadily in December.

Roughly 70% of hospital beds dedicated to coronavirus patients with sever symptoms are occupied in Osaka, and the prefecture is eager to curb the spread before the situation deteriorates further.

News source: Nikkei
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