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Japan to widen virus measures and boost testing amid Omicron

Japan has resisted the use of lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus as the government seeks to minimise damage to the economy

People wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, make their way at a shopping district in Tokyo (Photo: Reuters)

People wearing protective mask in Tokyo (Photo: Reuters)

Japan's government plans to put the majority of the country under pre-emergency status and extend COVID-19 restrictions as omicron cases have surged and threatened to disrupt basic services like hospitals and schools.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that he will tighten anti-virus measures in 18 more prefectures, including Hokkaido in the north to Osaka and Kyoto in western Japan, until Feb 20. This will be in addition to areas where similar restrictions are already in place or to be further extended — including Tokyo, Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima.

“Many people are feeling increasingly uneasy as the infections rapidly spread,”

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First Published: Jan 24 2022 | 7:59 PM IST

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