Japan seeks emergency restrictions as COVID - 19 infections surge

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TOKYO, Aug. 5 - Japan proposes expanding emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures to combat a surge in COVID - 19 cases, a cabinet minister said, as worries grow about strains on the nation's medical system in Olympics host Tokyo and elsewhere.

Officials warned that coronavirus infections were going to be increasing with an unprecedented speed as new cases hit record highs in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts about the government's handling of the pandemic.

Six prefectures including Olympic host city Tokyo are already in full states of emergency to last through Aug. 31 while another five are under strict quasi-emergency directives.