Faced with a notice of temporary closure of a department store in Tokyo, April 26, 2021. Japan has imposed a new state of emergency in the capital as well as in the western departments of the country, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, from April 25 to May 11.

Barely entered into force and here is the new state of emergency imposed by the Japanese government called into question by the spread of Covid-19 variants, which should cause more than 90% of new infections in Tokyo, Osaka and in the department of Hyogo during the first half of May.

In effect from April 25 to May 11 in Tokyo, as well as in the western departments of the country, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, the state of emergency – the third since the start of the pandemic – is resulting in demands closing shopping centers, cinemas, amusement parks, and bars and restaurants serving alcohol. Covering the traditional holidays of the “Golden Week”, between April 29 and May 5, it aims to stem the progression of Covid-19, which was detected in 5,606 people on April 24, almost double the number there is. at three weeks.

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The sharp rise in contamination – 564,400 since the start of the pandemic, for 9,939 deaths – is attributed to the spread of variants, 95% of the N501Y mutation observed in the British, Brazilian and South African strains. The first cases of contamination by these variants were reported at the end of 2020 in Japan. The precautions taken, such as closing borders or tightened controls at airports, have not prevented their dissemination.

“Impossible to control the disease”

On April 20, the health ministry totaled 5,916 variant contaminations in 46 of the country’s 47 departments, a figure multiplied by 1.7 in one week, to a “Rate higher than estimates”, according to the government expert commission. According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the share of people infected with the variants is estimated at 30% in Tokyo and 80% in Osaka and Hyogo. The institute notes their “Rapid spread” in the capital, and they could reach the neighboring department of Saitama. The variants are said to be progressing rapidly in the southern Okinawa department as well.

Japan also confirmed, on April 22, five “Double mutant” Indian, highly contagious. “We will take stringent measures to prevent the spread of infections by collecting, evaluating and analyzing information and strengthening border control and surveillance system”, promised government spokesman Katsunobu Kato.

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