Japan designates Osaka, Hyogo, Miyagi for tougher COVID-19 steps

The Japanese government on Thursday designated Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures for stronger measures against COVID-19 amid a sharp resurgence in infections.

The steps, including fines for eateries that ignore mandates to shorten operating hours, will be effective from April 5 for one month.

People wearing face masks walk on a shopping street in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on April 1, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

“These measures are necessary to stop the coronavirus from spreading and prevent the need for another state of emergency,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

The designation comes as Osaka reported 616 new infections on Thursday, the most in more than two months and exceeding Tokyo’s 475 cases, and with less than four months until the capital hosts the Summer Olympics.

Source: Japan designates Osaka, Hyogo, Miyagi for tougher COVID-19 steps