Japan puts Osaka, 2 other areas under virus semi-emergency


TOKYO (AP) — Japan has designated Osaka and two other areas for new virus control steps as infections in those areas rise less than four months before the Tokyo Olympics.

Osaka, neighboring Hyogo and Miyagi in the north have had sharp increases in daily cases since early March, soon after Japan scaled down a partial and non-binding state of emergency that began in January and was aimed at slowing the coronavirus and relieving pressure on medical systems treating COVID-19 patients.

Experts have raised concerns about Osaka’s rapid spike and the burden on its medical systems.

The new measures, like the previous state of emergency, largely focus on restaurants and bars, while stores, schools, theaters and museums will stay open.

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