Start News Japanese prefecture of Okinawa declares an emergency

Japanese prefecture of Okinawa declares an emergency

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Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, popular with tourists, has declared a state of emergency due to the rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases. Governor Denny Tamaki urged people to stay at home for two weeks and avoid unnecessary trips. The island chain in the south of Japan had recently recorded new record numbers every day, most of which were found in the US armed forces stationed there.

„We are seeing an explosive spread of infections,“ Tamaki told reporters. The emergency will continue until August 15, because the hospitals are overwhelmed by the wave of new infections. In contrast to similar measures in Europe, the restrictions are not mandatory, but the requirements are generally respected by the Japanese.

Most of the cases in the US armed forces

Okinawa reported 71 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number of people infected to 395. According to local authorities, the U.S. Armed Forces are responsible for 248 of the cases, further fueling tensions between the U.S. Army and the people. The presence of the US armed forces has long been controversial in Okinawa. Around 20,000 U.S. Navy soldiers are stationed on the main Okinawa island, plus thousands more from other Army units.

Sect leader arrested in South Korea

In South Korea, the founder of a Christian sect was arrested, which is at the center of the country’s largest coronavirus outbreak. The 89-year-old head of the cult, Lee Man Hee, is said to have withheld important information on contact tracking of infected members of the Shincheonji Church from the authorities, the prosecutor said.

The sect has been linked to more than 5,200 infections, 36 percent of all cases in South Korea. Lee, who called the novel virus a „devil act“ to stop the cult’s growth, is also accused of misappropriating church money, according to the Yonhap news agency. The sect denies the allegations.