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Japan panel to approve widening of COVID curbs

Japan panel to approve widening of COVID curbs

Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 10:58 GMT+7
Japan panel to approve widening of COVID curbs
Visitors wearing protective face masks walk on a pedestrian deck, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan January 22, 2022. Photo: Reuters

A Japanese advisory panel is set to approve the expansion of tougher measures against COVID-19 to 18 additional regions on Tuesday, putting more than 70% of the country under restrictions.

The western prefectures of Osaka and Kyoto are among the areas covered by the measures, taken in response to a surge of infections and hospitalisation driven by the Omicron variant.

Japan logged more than 44,000 new cases on Monday, a tally by public broadcaster NHK showed.

The curbs will be enforced from Thursday through Feb. 20, and governors in those regions can request restaurants and bars to shorten business hours and stop serving alcohol.

The advisory panel is also expected to greenlight an extension through Feb. 20 of the so-called quasi-emergency measures prevailing in three regions.

A government taskforce led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to formally approve those decisions on Tuesday evening.



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