Japan braced for a feared rebound in coronavirus cases as the highways and airports filled with travellers at the start of New Year’s holidays on Wednesday.
The governors of the metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka urged residents to keep end-of-year gatherings small, as more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 come to light, including a suspected cluster at an Osaka nursing home.
Health officials advised travellers to avail themselves of free coronavirus tests before departure, amid fears that an outpouring of city dwellers could spread infections to the countryside.
“The highest risk is meeting people without taking adequate measures to prevent infection,” said Norio Ohmagari, director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center and a top health advisor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
“Also, due to the reports of relatively mild infections caused by the Omicron strain, people are underestimating the risk of corona.”
The consecutive New Year’s holidays mark one of the busiest travel seasons in Japan. Footage from public broadcaster NHK showed Tokyo’s main airports were packed, while public highway data showed a 39 km (24 mile) traffic jam heading southwest of the capital.
News Source : Hindustan Times
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