Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said today that Japan aims to start coronavirus vaccinations “as soon as possible,” as it struggles to contain the spread of the virus and concerns over the strain on the medical system are growing, Kyodo reported.
“We will make every effort so we can start (vaccinations) as soon as possible,” Suga said at a House of Representatives plenary session.
Suga declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Jan. 7, the second following one last spring, and expanded its scope to seven more prefectures including Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka six days later. Two weeks after the state of emergency was declared for the Tokyo metropolitan area, the pandemic shows no sign of abating despite the government’s request for staying home during the year-end and the New Year holiday period.
Tokyo on Wednesday logged 1,274 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the metropolitan government said, bringing the capital’s cumulative tally to 89,188.
The medical system has been under considerable strain, and the Tokyo government recently reported several deaths of COVID-19 patients recuperating at home.
The government is now planning to make a legal revision to penalize those who reject hospitalization, with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of 1 million yen ($9,640).
Source: Saudi Press Agency