In the press review on Friday, May 14, we will discuss: the government releases funds to buy more vaccines, three more departments enter a state of emergency and doctors declare the organization of the Olympics impossible.

Funds released for more vaccines

The Cabinet of the government decided on Friday to allocate 512 billion yen (3.8 billion euros) of the reserve funds of the fiscal year 2021 to the purchase of vaccines COVID-19 additional, as infections continue to rise in the country. This sum will be used to purchase 250 million doses from American companies. Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax, in a context of intensifying global competition for vaccines. The Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, said last week that the government was in talks with Moderna and Novavax for 200 million doses of the vaccine to be administered next year. Of this total, Pfizer is expected to deliver 50 million doses between July and September. Relying on imports for its vaccine supply COVID-19, Japan began immunizing people aged 65 and over, who make up nearly 30% of its population, in mid-April, after launching its campaign among health workers in February.

State of emergency in three new departments

The Japanese government is preparing to declare a state of emergency for the COVID-19 in three more departments, a decision that comes as infections continue to rise ahead of Tokyo Olympics of this summer. Hokkaidô, Okayama and Hiroshima will be subject to tighter restrictions from Sunday to May 31, in addition to six departments including Tokyo and Osaka, said Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister responsible for the management of the coronavirus. The Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga should formalize the decision at a meeting in the evening before holding a press conference. The government originally planned to place Okayama and Hiroshima under a quasi-emergency regime, already in force at Hokkaido, but changed course at the request of a group of experts. “There were discussions on the need to thoroughly implement strong measures”, said the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Katsunobu Katô, during a press conference.

Doctors against holding the Olympics

Organizing the Tokyo Olympics safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage would be ” impossible “, warned on Wednesday a Japanese hospital doctors union. “We strongly oppose the holding of Olympic games Tokyo as people around the world are battling the novel coronavirus ”the union said in a statement submitted to the government. “It is impossible to organize Olympic Games safe and secure during the pandemic ”. In recent days, several governors have said they will not allocate hospital beds for athletes. In some cases, training plans for teams in Japan before the Games were abandoned. A little over ten weeks from the opening of the games, on July 23, public opinion remains opposed, with most people in favor of a further postponement or cancellation. But organizers say they can hold the Games safely thanks to the virus-fighting measures and point to the success of a series of recent test events, some with foreign athletes.


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