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Coronavirus live news: India reports over 200,000 cases for seventh straight day; Japan mulls new restrictions

Oxygen supplies running low in Delhi; Japanese government considering state of emergency in Tokyo and Osaka; EU agency says clot ‘very rare’ J&J vaccine side effect

Japan’s government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka as new Covid case numbers surge, broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday, a move that would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections spreading.
With thousands of new cases resulting from highly infectious strains of the virus, the government is expected to declare the state of emergency this week for the capital and Osaka prefecture, as well as the latter’s neighbouring Hyogo prefecture, a number of domestic media outlets reported.
Reuters: Japan has so far avoided the kind of explosive spread of the pandemic that has plagued many Western countries, with total cases so far at about 540,000 and a death toll of 9,707. But the latest rise in infections has stoked alarm, coming just three months before the planned start of the Tokyo Olympics and amid a sluggish vaccination roll-out.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is preparing to request an emergency period be declared from 29 April to 9 May, encompassing Japan’s annual ‘Golden Week’ holiday period, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

Osaka, the epicentre of a fourth wave of the pandemic, requested a renewed state of emergency on Tuesday, looking to cancel or postpone all major events to restrict the movement of people. Quasi-emergency measures were already imposed in 10 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, including the Tokyo and Osaka areas.

The government of Kyoto prefecture in western Japan is also preparing to request an emergency declaration, the Jiji news service reported. If enacted in all four regions, the emergency measures would cover close to a quarter of Japan’s population of 126 million.

Indian authorities scrambled to shore up supplies of medical oxygen to hospitals in the capital, Delhi, on Wednesday as a fast-spreading second wave of coronavirus stretched medical infrastructure to breaking point, officials and doctors said. Tuesday marked the seventh day in a row of more than 200,000 cases a day.

India, the world’s second most populous country, is reporting the world’s highest number of new daily cases and is approaching a peak of about 297,000 cases in one day that the US hit in January.

Related: Delhi warns hospitals running out of oxygen amid India’s devastating Covid wave

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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