Omicron risk: Japan suspends new reservations on all incoming flights

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the step is an emergency

2021-12-01 19:08:39

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the step is an emergency
Picture Supply : AP

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned the step is an emergency precaution towards the brand new variant. The ban tentatively extends by way of the top of the 12 months.

Highlights

  • Japan additional tightens its border controls towards a brand new coronavirus variant
  • WHO warned that the worldwide threat from the omicron variant is “very excessive” based mostly on early proof
  • Japan has began providing coronavirus vaccine booster photographs to well being care employees

Japan has requested worldwide airways to cease taking new reservations for all flights arriving in Japan till the top of December because the nation additional tightens its border controls towards a brand new coronavirus variant, the transportation ministry mentioned Wednesday.

It mentioned the request is an emergency precaution amid rising concern over the unfold of the brand new omicron variant.

Those that have already made reservations are usually not affected, though flights could also be canceled if there are inadequate passengers, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism mentioned. Transit passengers are additionally unaffected, it mentioned. Japan is a serious transit hub for flights to and from Asia. The transfer comes as Japan confirmed a second case of the omicron variant in an individual who arrived from Peru, sooner or later after it reported its first case in a Namibian diplomat.

Japan banned all international guests beginning Tuesday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned the step is an emergency precaution towards the brand new variant. The ban tentatively extends by way of the top of the 12 months. The federal government can be requiring Japanese residents arriving within the nation to quarantine for as much as 14 days.

The World Well being Group warned Monday that the worldwide threat from the omicron variant is “very excessive” based mostly on early proof, saying it may result in surges with “extreme penalties.”

A lot stays unknown in regards to the new variant, together with whether or not it’s extra contagious, as some well being authorities suspect, whether or not it makes folks extra severely in poor health, and whether or not it might thwart the vaccine. Narita Worldwide Airport Corp., which operates Japan’s foremost worldwide airport close to Tokyo, mentioned it isn’t conscious of any speedy modifications in flight arrivals in response to the announcement.

The choice was a disappointment for individuals who had been planning journeys throughout the vacation season, together with Japanese residents dwelling abroad hoping to return residence for the New Yr interval. Japan had been easing social and financial actions after infections quickly slowed since September. 

In the meantime, Japan on Wednesday began providing coronavirus vaccine booster photographs to well being care employees amid rising considerations over the brand new variant. Japan’s preliminary vaccination drive kicked off in mid-February and a few medical employees who obtained photographs greater than 9 months in the past are actually wanting to get extra safety forward of a attainable new wave of infections.

A gaggle of nurses and docs obtained booster photographs on the Tokyo Medical Middle. “It’s an vital first step for our sufferers and their households to be handled with a way of security,” mentioned hospital chief Kazuhiro Araki.

Though the efficacy of vaccines towards the brand new variant continues to be being examined, booster photographs are vital, Araki mentioned, as a result of the vaccines stay efficient towards different strains of the virus, together with delta, which put heavy stress on Japan’s well being care methods this summer season. 

Those that obtained their second shot eight months in the past are eligible for a 3rd shot to forestall breakthrough infections. Eligibility could also be shortened to 6 months if there’s a resurgence of infections, officers mentioned.

Japan’s vaccination rollout received off to a sluggish begin however surged from late Might, and now about 77% of the inhabitants has been absolutely vaccinated — a foremost cause consultants cite for Japan’s regular slowing of infections since September. Booster photographs for aged folks, who obtained their preliminary inoculations beginning in April, are anticipated to start in January.

Additionally Learn I Omicron scare: 4 passengers from Netherlands, UK take a look at Covid constructive in Delhi

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