Japan government panel requests 3 prefectures enact measures to curb COVID-19

The new measures, affecting the southern prefecture of Okinawa and the western prefectures of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, would last from Jan 9 until the end of the month.All three regions host bases for the US military, which on Thursday announced stricter infection controls at Japan's urging after on-base outbreaks appeared to have spilled into surrounding communities. Governors of the prefectures had requested the quasi-emergency steps, which include limited opening hours for bars and restaurants, after seeing a surge in cases, driven by the infectious Omicron variant. The southern island chain of Okinawa, host to 70 per cent of US military facilities in Japan, has been the hardest hit so far, in what appears to be the nation's sixth wave of the pandemic. The prefecture is expected to report more than 1,400 new cases on Friday, Okinawa TV reported, a new record and up from 981 on Thursday.

Japan government panel requests 3 prefectures enact measures to curb COVID-19

The new measures, affecting the southern prefecture of Okinawa and the western prefectures of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, would last from Jan 9 until the end of the month.

All three regions host bases for the US military, which on Thursday announced stricter infection controls at Japan's urging after on-base outbreaks appeared to have spilled into surrounding communities.

Governors of the prefectures had requested the quasi-emergency steps, which include limited opening hours for bars and restaurants, after seeing a surge in cases, driven by the infectious Omicron variant.

The southern island chain of Okinawa, host to 70 per cent of US military facilities in Japan, has been the hardest hit so far, in what appears to be the nation's sixth wave of the pandemic.

The prefecture is expected to report more than 1,400 new cases on Friday, Okinawa TV reported, a new record and up from 981 on Thursday.