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Japan to expand COVID******
As Japan grapples to deal with a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, senior government officials said Monday that 30 of the country's 47 prefectures will be placed under a quasi-state of emergency in the coming days.
Following Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida holding talks with necessary Cabinet ministers later in the day regarding the latest prefectures requesting to be placed under the COVID-19 emergency measure, a formal decision on the matter will likely be announced Tuesday, informed sources said.
"We will respond with well-balanced measures based on the nature of the Omicron strain by enhancing the procedural flow of prevention, detection and early treatment," Kishida told a lower house budget committee session on Monday.
The final decision will come after the government holding talks with its advisery panel of virus experts, who, after green-lighting the plan, will likely allow more prefectures to take more stringent anti-virus measures along with the 16 prefectures already under the virus emergency measure as of Monday.
The move comes after nationwide COVID-19 cases surged to a record 54,576 on Saturday as the highly-transmissible Omicron virus variant continues to wreak havoc up and down the country.
A quasi-state of emergency allows prefectural governors and officials to implement stricter anti-viral measures, such as requesting eateries and bars to close earlier and refrain from serving alcohol, as well as large indoor and outdoor venues to cap the number of attendees at events, among others.
Polish luger Sochowicz injured during training ahead of Olympics******
WARSAW, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Polish luger Mateusz Sochowicz had a serious accident during training at the Olympic track in Beijing, the Polish Luge Association announced on Monday.
The 25-year-old is in hospital after he suffered a compound fracture to leg during training in the National Sliding Centre in Yanqing, Beijing.
"Sochowicz got a green light to go but he collided with the toll gate at high speed. He has a compound fracture of the left lower leg bone. He also has pain in his right knee and pelvis," the secretary general of the Polish Luge Association Janusz Tatera said in an interview for local media on Monday.
The injury of Sochowicz is a big blow for Poland as he is believed as one of the most talented lugers in the country, who competed in the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018.
"Mateusz did a very good job this season. We hoped he could achieve good results at the Winter Olympics in Beijing," Tatera added.
The Poles are impressed by the infrastructure in China, where in the National Sliding Centre they found the longest track in the world.
"The track is technically difficult, but it looks pretty safe. The difficulty is catching the right points to steer, and competitors must help the sled turn into corners," coach of the Poland team Marek Skowronski noted on Monday. Enditem