With only three months to go before the summer Olympics are set to kick off in its capital, Japan is preparing to reintroduce a state of emergency in both Tokyo and Osaka. With infection rates rising sharply in both cities, Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, announced that she is planning to ask the central government to again bring back a state of emergency, for the third time, in the capital. Koike will request an emergency period be declared for Japan’s annual ‘Golden Week’ holiday period, from April 29th to May 9th. In Osaka, that request has already been made. It is thought that both requests will be granted. So far Japan has avoided the kind of explosive spread of the pandemic that has plagued many other countries, with total cases so far at about 550,000 and a death toll of just over 9,700. However, the latest rise in infections has stoked alarm, coming only months before the planned start of the Olympics and with a slow vaccination roll-out not helping.
It was also reported that surging cases in India have left Delhi facing a shortage of hospital capacity and supplies. Authorities said hospitals in the Indian capital have said they will start running out of medical supplies, including oxygen as soon as today after Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister said the Asian country faced a coronavirus ‘storm’, which in turn could overwhelm its health system. In a televised address to the nation, Modi said ‘The situation was manageable until a few weeks ago. The second wave of infections has come like a storm’ and urged people to stay indoors. In the capital of 20 million people, state hospitals had between eight- and 24-hours’ worth of oxygen, whilst private hospitals were fairing even worse, with about five hours.
Lastly, a farcical and chaotic couple of days ended when Man City and Chelsea were first to withdraw their commitment to the European Super League, with the other four English clubs soon following suit with short public statements, only Arsenal actually offering an apology. Whatever these six Premier League clubs pay their marketing and communications people will be worth every penny as they will need every ounce of PR in the next days, weeks and months.