Tokyo could face extended lockdown – reports
The Japanese capital and other cities including Osaka and Kyoto were placed into emergency lockdown on 25 April and were expected to emerge from restrictions next Tuesday, 11 May.
But Yomiuri newspaper reports today that it could be extended when the prime minister Yoshihide Suga meets key ministers today.
The total number of Covid-19 deaths in Japan recently passed 10,000 – the highest in the region – while media reports said the number of people with severe Covid-19 symptoms reached a record 1,050 at the weekend.
Here are some of the main developments from the the past few hours to get you up to speed with what is going on:
- Japan is considering extending the lockdown currently in place in Tokyo and other cities, according to Japanese media. The capital city is under a 17-day state of emergency until next Tuesday along with along with Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo. But prime minister Yoshihide Suga will meet ministers today to discuss an extension, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
- The rightwing, anti-lockdown leader of Spain’s Madrid region has won a snap election dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. Isabel Díaz Ayuso has won popularity as Madrid became one of the few large European cities in Europe that has kept bars, restaurants and theatres open since the national lockdown ended in June 2020.
- The G7 will try to agree a plan to send more vaccine supplies to poorer countries as foreign ministers wrap up three days of talks in London today. Measures could include exporting surplus doses and increasing production.
- Australia’s prime minister said the country’s controversial “pause” on flights to India is working, with case numbers in its quarantine holding centre falling. Scott Morrison’s comments came as the UN said the ban raised “serious human rights” issues. The policy revents Australians returning home from India, enforced with the threat of fines and even jail time.
- Surge testing is not being carried out in England for coronavirus variants first detected in India, despite the government claiming it would be deployed, the Guardian has learned.
- Brazil’s president ignored warnings that his Covid response would lead to a disaster, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. A former health minister said Jair Bolsonaro had understood that ignoring scientific advice could cause death on an “enormous scale”.
- The birth rate in the United States has seen its biggest fall for nearly 50 years, according to government data to be published on Wednesday, with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic believed to have contributed to a fall in pregnancies.
- Hong Kong will lift its ban on flights from the UK and Ireland this week, if the local coronavirus situation and other “relevant overseas places” does not change, our correspondent in Taiwan.