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Japan's Osaka cancels Olympic torch run, declares COVID-19 medical emergency

CoronavirusApr 07, 2021 03:15AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman, wearing protective mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks on an almost empty street in the Dotonbori entertainment district of Osaka

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's western region of Osaka cancelled on Wednesday Olympic torch events scheduled across the prefecture, as record coronavirus infections prompted its government to declare a medical emergency.

Health authorities fear a virus variant is unleashing a fourth wave of infections just 107 days before the Tokyo Olympics begins, with a vaccination drive still at an early stage.

Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said the street runs would be cancelled, adding that the medical system faced enormous strain as a more infectious variant sent cases skyrocketing among young people.

"It is almost certain that this mutant strain is highly contagious with a high transmission speed," he said in televised remarks.

"I would like to ask all residents of Osaka prefecture to refrain from going out unnecessarily. The medical system is in a very tight situation."

The prefecture will report more than 800 new infections on Wednesday, domestic media said, for a second straight day of record numbers. Severe cases have filled about 70% of hospital beds in the region.

Osaka and the neighbouring prefectures of Hyogo and Miyagi started on Monday a month of targeted lockdown measures, to rein in a more virulent strain of the virus.

In recent days, Osaka's infections have outstripped those in Tokyo, the Japanese capital and a much larger city. Even so, Tokyo's cases are on an uptrend as well, with Wednesday's 555 new infections standing at the highest since early February.

Emergency measures in the Osaka area could be widened to Tokyo and elsewhere if needed, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Sunday.

Japan's vaccination drive is far behind that of most major economies, with about 1 million people being given at least one dose since February.

That figure represents less than 1% of the population, versus almost 2% in neighbouring South Korea, which started its campaign after Japan.

Japan's Osaka cancels Olympic torch run, declares COVID-19 medical emergency
 

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Jacqueline King
Jacqueline King 1 hour ago
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𝚛𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞 $ 10,000. 𝚑𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰: 𝘆𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 $ 10,000 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭. 𝚐𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝘆𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐝 $ 10,000 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝘆𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧'𝐭 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐭. 𝚑𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰: 𝚑𝐢 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝘄𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞? 𝘄𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 "𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐲" 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞? 𝚌𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝗏𝗎𝗋𝗊𝗈𝗉𝗅.𝗀𝗊
Courtney Williams
Courtney Williams 3 hours ago
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𝘁𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 $ 10,000 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭. 𝚐𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝗎𝗃𝖾𝗃𝗌𝖼𝖺.𝗆𝗅
 
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