Tokyo [Japan], May 26 (ANI): Japan's prefecture leaders want the state of emergency to be extended as serious coronavirus cases remain high and the medical system is feeling the pinch as the government struggles to ramp up a slow start to its vaccination programme.
The governor of Fukuoka said that he has asked the central government to extend measures there, reported NHK World.
Officials in Osaka plan to do the same and calls from its neighbours seem likely. New cases in Osaka are declining, but tallies remain high.
Local officials said that hospital beds set aside for serious cases are mostly full.
"We've decided to request that the state of emergency declaration for our prefecture be extended, taking into account that we are still grappling with the spread of more transmissible variants and our medical system is under severe strain," said Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi.
The Health Minister also said that the tallies in Tokyo and Osaka haven't dropped far enough to consider lifting the declaration. He said that the government's final decision will be based on expert advice, reported NHK World.
The government issued a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto one month ago.
It's since been expanded to cover ten prefectures. Most will expire at the end of the month, but not if prefectural leaders get their way, reported NHK World.
Japan is giving vaccine efforts a shot in the arm, by allowing more professionals to hand out inoculations. Doctors, nurses and dentists are on the list. Paramedics and clinical technicians could be next.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said, "We plan to ask for cooperation in a way that does not negatively affect systems for testing and emergency transportation."Officials opened large-scale vaccination centers on Monday, as part of a push to inoculate as many as 36 million seniors by the end of July.
But the situation hasn't improved enough for US experts who said that even vaccinated Americans aren't safe traveling to Japan. The US State Department added Japan to a list of about 150 other countries and regions at its highest-possible warning, reported NHK World.
Meanwhile, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said that this shouldn't affect its plans for the Tokyo Games.
The head of the Tokyo organizing committee agreed. Hashimoto Seiko said, "I believe it doesn't affect the Games. We must ensure that it won't affect them."Health authorities across Japan confirmed more than 3,900 new cases and 105 deaths on Tuesday. (ANI)