The governor of the Okinawa region declared a state of emergency until August 15 due to the circulation of the coronavirus and asked the population of the Japanese province to confine themselves for two weeks.
The state of emergency has been declared for the tourist japanese region of Okinawa following an “explosive spread” of the coronavirus, authorities say, and the population is being asked to confine themselves for two weeks.
“We are witnessing an explosive spread of infections. We are declaring a state of emergency” until August 15, regional governor Denny Tamaki said on Friday, adding that hospitals were overwhelmed by this outbreak of contaminations.
The leader asked residents to avoid non-essential outings. The measures taken in Japan are not binding like those in Europe, but are still widely respected by the population.
American military bases at the origin of the epidemic
Most of the cases of coronavirus detected on this island in the south of the archipelago were in US military bases. Seventy-one new cases were identified this Friday in the Okinawa region, for a total of 395, including 248 in American bases, according to the Japanese authorities, which generated tensions between them and the American representatives.
There are approximately 20,000 Marines in Okinawa, in addition to thousands of other troops from other US military units. Their presence on the island has long been a sensitive issue.
Resurgence of cases in Japan
Okinawa’s move comes as Tokyo has asked restaurants, bars and karaoke bars to close at 10 p.m. from August 3 until the end of the month, after the publication of record daily numbers of new infections. Japan has a total of around 35,200 contaminations and just over 1,000 deaths since the first case was detected in January. The number of infections has increased since the end of the state of emergency in May.
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