TOKYO July 7 Xinhua -- Osaka prefectural government on Wednesday made the decision to request the Japanese government to extend businesses restrictions under
TOKYO, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Osaka prefectural government on Wednesday made the decision to request the Japanese government to extend businesses restrictions under a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency scheduled to expire on Sunday, until the end of July, local media reported Wednesday. The decision for the coronavirus restrictions extension in the western city came amid concerns that the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to open on July 23, could trigger a new surge in infections. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to make the final decision on extending the quasi-state of emergency covering Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Thursday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet Osaka's request or not. Daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Osaka has declined sharply from the peak in the fourth wave of infections in Japan, with 126 confirmed cases reported on Tuesday, compared to a high of 1,200 in mid-May. However, the downside trend stopped in recent weeks, with prefectural officials voicing worries over spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus first found in India, as well as an increase in infections among people in their 20s and 30s. "There are signs of the coronavirus beginning to spread again and there is a high risk of a rebound," Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said at a task force meeting. Restrictions should remain in place until the end of July, he said. Suga ordered a quasi-state of emergency for Tokyo and other prefectures in April. It was expanded and extended to several regions, including in the capital, into a full-fledged state of emergency, which entailed larger fines for noncompliance and targeted entire prefectures rather than particular high-risk areas.