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Governors seek thorough measures to prevent fifth coronavirus wave in Japan

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Prefectural governors Saturday urged the national government to take thorough measures to prevent a fifth wave of cases as the COVID-19 state of emergency comes to an end in nine prefectures Sunday.

In its proposal to the state, the National Governors’ Association also said the best efforts should be made to avoid spreading infections during this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

“The fourth wave came before the third wave fully ended. We can’t make the same mistake,” Shunji Kono, governor of Miyazaki Prefecture, said during a videoconference attended by 41 governors.

Analyzing the current situation, the association said that caution is necessary as the delta variant, first discovered in India, is spreading across Japan, including in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

To prevent a fifth wave, the central government needs to strengthen the country’s border controls and coronavirus testing system so it will fully cover variant strains, the proposal added.

Regarding the Tokyo Games, the governors asked for measures to thoroughly manage the movements of related officials coming to Japan. They also urged the state to quickly consider mass COVID-19 vaccinations for the games’ volunteers and discuss how to handle public viewings.

The central government was also asked to allow universities and companies with under 1,000 people to conduct mass vaccinations at their own venues.

In addition, the association requested that the government disclose a clear schedule of Pfizer vaccine shipments from August.

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