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Doctors in Japan Caution against Domestic Travel amid COVID-19 Resurgence

Doctors in Japan Caution against Domestic Travel amid COVID-19 Resurgence

Wednesday, 5 August, 2020 - 08:00
People take pictures of the Imperial Palace, a popular tourist destination, in Tokyo on May 20, 2020. (AFP)

Japanese holidaymakers should refrain from domestic travel and regional governments should act independently to contain a resurgence of coronavirus infections, the country’s top doctors’ association said on Wednesday.


Japan Medical Association president Toshio Nakagawa cautioned against travelling around the country as the Obon holiday season begins and said regional governments should decide for themselves whether to issue mandatory restrictions on business or travel.


“These orders should not be given uniformly by the national government, but should be handled by the prefectures with a certain amount of authority to deal with the situation in their regions,” Nakagawa said in a televised briefing.


Nakagawa called for expanded availability of virus testing and urged citizens to show restraint during the holiday season.


Cases have surged in recent weeks, hitting daily records not just in Tokyo but in other cities around the country.


Okinawa Prefecture in the south declared a state of emergency on Monday, while Aichi Prefecture in central Japan was reported to do the same on Wednesday, according to the local media.


Japan imposed a nationwide state of emergency in April that was lifted for all regions in late May as cases subsided. But as cases increase in Tokyo and other pockets, policymakers have been hesitant to reinstate a nationwide emergency declaration.


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