With just 109 days left before the Olympics, Japanese health authorities are concerned about a possible fourth wave of coronavirus caused by new strains, AMPE reported.
Experts believe that 4th wave is now in its infancy. The newer strains are much more infectious and may well withstand vaccine resistance. Moreover, vaccination in the country is not going as fast as we would like.
Last year, Japan declared a Covid-19 state of emergency twice. The last time this happened literally simultaneously with the onset of the new 2021, in connection with the aggression of the deadly third wave of the pandemic. Now, authorities are opting for more targeted measures to tackle the coronavirus, allowing local officials to adjust opening hours and fine those who violate regulations.
Today, the government is concerned about the situation in Osaka – last week the pandemic set new records and forced the introduction of targeted isolation measures for a month from yesterday’s Monday. A new coronavirus strain detected in the UK is spreading rapidly in the Osaka region, filling hospitals with more serious cases than the original virus, according to AMPE. Tokyo International University of Health and Welfare Professor Wanda says:
“The fourth wave will be more ambitious. We need to start a discussion on how we could use these targeted measures in the Tokyo area. ”
All Olympic torch events have been canceled in Osaka. However, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined and says that the Olympic Games will go according to plan. Last Sunday, he noted that the measures announced in Osaka could, if necessary, be extended to Tokyo.
In the past 24 hours, 249 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Tokyo. For comparison – at the peak of the pandemic in January, this figure was 2500. In Osaka, an anti-record was recorded last Saturday – 666 new infections. Last week, the Ministry of Health released a report that states that new strains of coronavirus, previously detected in South Africa, the UK and Brazil, have been recorded throughout Japan and at airports. Most of them are in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.
Of no less concern is a completely new mutation (E484K), different from the previously known ones and found in 70% of patients in a Tokyo hospital. Experts fear that this strain may be more common.
The increase in infection cases in the country came just weeks after the Japanese authorities lifted the second state of emergency. Government official Makoto Shimoaraiso says authorities are currently working to combat the sharp increase in new cases of Covid-19.