COVID-19: Olympic Torch Relay leg in Osaka cancelled due to pandemic

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has reportedly cancelled the Olympic Torch Relay leg in Osaka as the country’s Government looks set to impose new restrictions to curb rising coronavirus cases.

The Olympic Flame started its 121-day journey across Japan on March 25 and was scheduled to go through the Osaka prefecture on April 13 and 14.

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The Prime Minister’s decision comes after Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura called for the event to be scrapped in the city.

Yoshimura also urged the country’s Government to implement emergency anti-virus measures in Osaka for three weeks.

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According to reports, the Japanese Government is poised to bring in fresh restrictions in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi from April to May 5.

Under the restrictions, people will reportedly be told to work from home and businesses will be ordered to shorten hours or face fines.

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The move comes after Osaka registered 599 new infections on Tuesday.

Osaka and Tokyo – which is set to host this year’s rescheduled Olympic and Paralympic Games – were among several areas in Japan that were placed under a state of emergency at the start of the year in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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