Japan faces uptick in coronavirus cases but no political will for new shutdowns
Tokyo’s municipal government also abandoned an alert system based on numerical targets that could have triggered fresh shutdowns if the virus started spreading again.
The message from Japan’s leadership has been clear: The virus will be tackled only through measures “that would not further harm the economy,” according to Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike.
Japan’s covid-19 crisis is less severe than many countries’ in raw numbers — fewer than 1,000 deaths by official count. But the economy-first policy marks a jarring contrast to other places as varied as California and Melbourne, Australia, which reimposed restrictions after reopening and seeing coronavirus cases surge back.
The tug of war between the economy and virus containment is familiar in many parts of the world. So are the warnings from public health experts.
“Are they going to politicize science again?” Kentaro Iwata, who studies infectious diseases at Kobe University, tweeted when the panel was disbanded, calling it a “dumb” decision. “Things will continue to deteriorate, and we …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]