Japan further expands virus emergency areas as cases surge

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has expanded its coronavirus state of emergency for a second week in a row, adding eight more prefectures as a surge in infections fueled by the delta variant strains the country’s health care system. The government last week extended the state of emergency until Sept. 12 and expanded the areas covered to 13 prefectures from six including Tokyo. With four new prefectures added to a separate “quasi-emergency” status, 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures are now under some type of emergency measures. Japan has weathered the pandemic better than many other countries, with around 15,600 deaths nationwide since the start. But its vaccination efforts lag behind other wealthy nations, with 40% of the population fully vaccinated.