• SHARE

Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura requested Thursday that bars and restaurants serving alcohol in Nagoya’s main nightlife entertainment districts shorten their business hours for about three weeks from Sunday, amid a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The prefecture will provide up to ¥400,000 in subsidies for operators that comply with the request, he said.

Omura also urged Aichi residents to refrain from making nonessential trips to virus hot spots such as Hokkaido, the greater Tokyo area and Osaka Prefecture. Aichi Prefecture will also stop issuing new discount meal coupons under the Go To Eat campaign until the spread of the virus is under control, he said.

Similar moves in Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo come at a critical time for restaurants. Tokyo’s decision is compounding the pain for businesses that have already been hit by a spate of reservation cancellations due to the spread of the virus. It remains to be seen how many bars and restaurants will close early at a time when the pandemic has led to a drop in demand for big corporate parties, leaving many stores relying on people who dine out in small groups for revenue.

Medical workers stage a rally in Tokyo to call for the government's financial support for medical institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic. | KYODO
Medical workers stage a rally in Tokyo to call for the government’s financial support for medical institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic. | KYODO

Medical staff are working harder than ever, yet over 40% of medical institutions in Japan have lowered their year-end bonuses for nurses and other employees due to the pandemic, a survey shows, up from 30% that cut summer bonuses.

“The situation is clearly deteriorating,” said Susumu Morita, the head of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions. The bonus cuts are mainly due to patients avoiding regular visits to the doctor or refusing to be hospitalized out of fear of catching the coronavirus, according to the federation.

Thursday’s (and Wednesday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (20 or over): Tokyo 481 (401), Osaka 326 (318), Kanagawa 254 (161), Hokkaido 223 (181), Aichi 198 (177), Hyogo 184 (101), Saitama 160 (99), Chiba 82 (73), Okinawa 74 (27), Shizuoka 72 (55), Fukuoka 53 (28), Ibaraki 51 (37), Kyoto 33 (31), Gunma 30 (18), Mie 27 (18), Nara 22 (11), Miyagi 21 (7). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

Further reading: COVID-19 updates and Japan COVID-19 story archive

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)