Tokyo area governors ask govt. to do more on virus

The governors of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures have asked the central government to take more steps to curb coronavirus infections.

The governors of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa met Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response, Nishimura Yasutoshi, and other senior officials on Tuesday.

Both sides agreed that the national government and the local authorities will work together to better fight the pandemic.

The governors called on the central government to take stricter measures at points of entry to prevent new variants found overseas from being brought into the country.

They also asked the government to set out priorities that would help public health centers allocate resources in the fight against the coronavirus. The burden on such centers is increasing amid the rapid spread of infections and some have decided to abandon contact tracing in many instances.

The central government officials explained that there would be a rise in subsidies to hospitals in an effort to increase the number of beds available for COVID-19 patients.

They also said the government will provide financial support to companies promoting telework, as well as firms that depend for business on bars and restaurants that are now closing earlier.