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Residents in Japan urged to stay home in bid to stop rise in Covid cases

The Tokyo Olympics is set to take place in July despite the Covid-19 pandemic 
Associated Press Reporter

People in Japan have been urged to stay home during a string of “golden week” holidays beginning on Thursday in a nationwide effort to curb the rapid resurgence of coronavirus cases less than three months before the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike warned that the infection rate could explode if people continue to travel, dine out and meet with others during the holidays.

“We are at a crucial turning point,” Ms Koike said. “In order to slow the infections and keep them from becoming explosive, we must reduce the people’s movement.”

She urged people to stay home and avoid barbecuing and drinking outdoors even though bars and restaurants serving alcohol are closed under emergency measures imposed on Sunday.

She also asked employers in Tokyo to allow up to 70% of their staff to work from home.

Tokyo has reported 925 new confirmed cases, its highest daily number since late January.

Experts from a Tokyo task force said a rapid spread of the more contagious virus variant first detected in Britain could send daily cases as high as 2,000 within two weeks.

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