Japan was inundated by an unprecedented seventh wave

“We are in the middle of the seventh wave, with an explosion of cases nationally. If this trend does not reverse within two weeks, hospitals will be overwhelmed and economic activity will suffer. It is necessary to resolve the strict travel restrictions. » Kazuhiro Dadeda, a professor at Toho University, drew a cautious observation on Japan’s health situation on public channel NHK on Friday, July 29. An adviser to the Japanese government on the coronavirus, he called for respect for rules such as distancing, ventilation or wearing masks. The government wants to contain the spread of the virus without harming economic and social activities.

The number of Covid-19 cases reached 221,442 on July 29 alone, up from 195,097, as mid-August and the traditional departures of the “kut” (summer vacation) season saw millions of Japanese return to their homelands. week ago. The number of critically ill patients rose to 376 from 100 on July 14. On that day, 122 people died of Covid-19, compared to 55 a week ago.

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The seventh wave, whose peak may occur on August 6, is already having tangible effects on the economy. Due to lack of technicians, patients or contact cases, JR Kyushu Railway Company (Southwest) has suspended 120 express train services until August 5. Toyota has temporarily shut down its assembly lines due to labor and parts supply issues. The Japanese Postal Service has closed 170 offices.

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Additionally, facing an influx of heat stroke victims in the heart of summer, hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to receive Covid-19 patients. Bed occupancy rate exceeds 50% in 20 of the country’s 47 departments. It reaches 88% in Okinawa (South).

Vaccination incentives

Faced with this unprecedented wave in an archipelago that has so far “only” managed an epidemic that has killed 32,430 people, the government is looking to march without considering “state of emergency declarations”. Location during previous waves. “We are going to make the most of this system so that social and economic activities are not affected.”Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

On July 29, the government authorized departments to take measures in accordance with their health situation by making requests to use telework, restricting the opening of bars and restaurants, advising them not to go out, if the bed occupancy rate in hospitals is high. is more than 50%.

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