Schools, businesses reopen in Japan with caution:-

Devendra lama ,

People in Japan are gradually adjusting to a new normal after COVID-19 forced changes to how they live and work. Officials now say many businesses can reopen, but one southwestern city is dealing with a spike of new infections.

Officials in Kitakyushu confirmed just short of 100 cases over the past nine days. Officials could not trace the route of infection for about a third of them.

But they have linked one cluster to an elementary school where five young classmates were infected. The school, as well as three other elementary and junior high schools, have been temporarily closed.

The central government says it’s too early to consider re-imposing a state of emergency for the area. It was lifted more than two weeks ago, allowing shopping malls to reopen. The business is now limiting seating in the food court and installing more hand sanitizer dispensers.

Tokyo was among the last prefectures to have the declaration lifted. Officials reported 13 new cases in the capital on Monday. More than 5,200 people have tested positive for the virus in the city of about 14 million.

Students at more than 1,800 public elementary and junior high schools in Tokyo went back to class after a three-month-long break.

Some schools are splitting up classes and asking the two groups of students to attend at different times.

The Tokyo government is also easing requests for some businesses to remain closed. It will now allow cram schools, theaters, gyms and retail shops, including department stores to reopen.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said, “The business operators are taking all sorts of measures to prevent the spread of infection, in accordance with the guidelines for each industry. Together with them, I want all Tokyo residents to continue efforts to contain the infection.”

Officials plan to monitor the situation for a while before deciding whether to further ease the closure request. The next phase would include reopening karaoke bars and nightclubs which do not employ private hosts.

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