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13 April
Tuesday

Asia

Japan becomes the center of COVID-19 spread in the far East

Japan logged over 3,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus for the first time on Saturday, while the country’s death toll from the virus rose by 28 to 2,595

Photo: BLOOMBERG

/NOVOSTIVL/ Japan, the least affected by the pandemic this spring and summer, is turning into A covid-19 distribution center in the far East. The number of new cases of infection in Tokyo day after day updates the maximum, by the end of the week reaching the anti-record for the entire time of the pandemic-621 people. The number of infections per day across the country for the first time overcame the psychological mark of 3 thousand people. Against this background, the rating of the government of Yoshihide Sugi collapsed to 40%. One of the main reasons is the reluctance of the authorities to take tough measures, including restrictions on business and the suspension of the Go To Travel domestic tourism support program.

The fact that the world's largest city, 38-million Tokyo, at the end of the week updated its daily anti-record for the number of cases of coronavirus for the entire time of the pandemic, said the Ministry of health of Japan. According to him, the number of cases in the Japanese capital last Saturday was 621 people. The previous anti-record was set a day earlier - 602 cases. In General, since the beginning of the epidemic in Tokyo, more than 46 thousand people have been infected with the coronavirus.

Daily growth this spring was incomparably lower, measured in double digits: then, compared with its dysfunctional Asian neighbors, Japan did without harsh measures and got off lightly.

Together with the capital, the entire 126-million-strong country updated its anti-record at the end of last week. The number of new cases of infection on a national scale for the first time exceeded the psychological mark of 3 thousand, last Saturday reaching 3,041 people (a total of 179 thousand people were infected during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, 2,588 died).

The five most disadvantaged prefectures, which the authorities assigned the fourth (maximum) level of complexity of the situation with COVID-19, which means the threat of the situation getting out of control, along with the capital were the prefectures of Osaka, where the second largest industrial center of the country is located, as well as Hyogo, Kochi and Hokkaido. At the same time, the last two prefectures are experiencing the greatest shortage of beds.

In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, outbreaks of avian flu have already been recorded in ten Japanese prefectures. As Kyodo news Agency reported on Sunday, the last region where avian flu was detected was Shiga Prefecture. Since the beginning of November, when the first cases of avian flu were detected, the country has destroyed a record number of chickens for the season - 2.5 million.

Given that Go to Travel was the brainchild of Shinzo Abe, his loyal student Yoshihide Suga is determined to continue it, despite the fact that the vast majority of Japanese people in the current difficult epidemiological situation consider the development of the program on the previous scale inappropriate.

In addition to its reluctance to freeze the Go to Travel program, Premier Suga's government also refrains from harsh restrictive measures against the restaurant business, which has become one of the industries most affected by the pandemic. As the Kyodo news Agency reported last Saturday, the restaurant business in Japan may face a record number of bankruptcies this year. According to the Agency, the number of companies in this field, whose average debt from January to November has already reached the level of 10 million yen (about $96 thousand), is 792.

The previous anti-record was reached in 2011, when 800 companies went bankrupt. In the field of restaurant business and catering, establishments specializing in national cuisine and noodle shops were the most affected.

Currently, there is no ban on the operation of restaurant businesses and drinking establishments in Japan: the authorities only recommend that the owners of establishments reduce the time of customer service, giving restaurateurs the right to decide for themselves whether to follow these recommendations or ignore them. The wearing of masks is also of an exclusively recommendatory nature, and no one is fined for their absence.

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