In the press review of Wednesday, May 19, we will discuss: the International Olympic Committee is ready to add doctors for the holding of the Tokyo Games, the Okinawa government requests a state of emergency following a record cases within 24 hours and flowers appeared on the “devil’s hand” at the Shimane botanical garden.

IOC offers more doctors for the Olympics

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said on Wednesday that his organization was ready to send medical personnel to Tokyo Olympics, as part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at the start of a three-day virtual meeting between Japan and the IOC Coordination Commission, Bach said: “The IOC proposed to the organizing committee to have additional medical personnel (…) to support the medical operations and the strict implementation of the countermeasures of the COVID-19. “We need to focus on organizing these safe and secure Olympics because the opening ceremony is only 65 days away”, he continued. While the Tokyo games approaching after an unprecedented one-year delay, the majority of Japanese are opposed to hosting the Olympics this summer as the country faces high infections and a slow vaccine rollout. Tokyo and some other departments are currently placed under the state of emergency regime.

State of health emergency requested by Okinawa

Okinawa on Wednesday asked the central government to add it to areas under state of emergency COVID-19, the southernmost department of the Archipelago having recorded a record number of infections. 203 new daily infections were reported among its population of 1.5 million, up from 168 the day before. The Governor of Okinawa, Denny tamaki, said the local health system was in ” crisis situation “. At present, 16 Okinawa municipalities are placed in a near state of emergency, which allows certain areas to be isolated and measures such as the early closure of restaurants to be taken. In comparison, a true declaration of emergency covers an entire department. Nine Japanese departments, including those of Tokyo and from Osaka, are placed in a state of emergency until May 31. The Principal Secretary to the Cabinet, Katsunobu Katô, said the situation at Okinawa deserves to be “Observed with caution” and that the government will promptly consider the department’s request.

Hand of the devil flowered in the garden of Shimane

The hands of the devil, a variety of tree, delight visitors from a garden to Izumo, in the department of Shimane. Flowers appeared on two young trees, an evergreen variety belonging to the family of malvaceae, at the botanical garden Shimane Hana no Sato. The reproductive system of these flowers resembles the red claw of a devil hence its name. This tree is native to Mexico and Central America, where it can reach 20 meters high. According to the botanical garden, this is the second case in Japan, since 2014, where this tree bloomed, after the botanical garden of Mizunomori at Kusatsu, in the department of Shiga. The trees were donated as seedlings to Shimane Hana no Sato by a plant lover in October 2017. They reached about five meters tall in a glass room, but they had not flowered before. Three flowers and 10 buds were confirmed on Saturday. “They have a very interesting aspect. Come and see them ”said a staff member.


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