Photo/Illutration Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, right, holds an online conference on Jan. 19 with his counterparts in neighboring Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. (Kae Terao)

The three Kansai prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo will ask the central government on Jan. 21 to approve pre-emergency measures for their jurisdictions to fight the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The three governors separately told reporters of their plan on Jan. 20.

Osaka Prefecture had set a 35-percent hospital bed usage ratio for COVID-19 patients as a trigger to seek the pre-emergency measures, and that threshold is expected to be met either on Jan. 20 or 21.

The three prefectural governments will ask that their entire jurisdictions be covered by the pre-emergency measures.

Hyogo prefectural officials said they confirmed 2,483 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 20, the second highest daily tally. The hospital bed usage ratio for COVID-19 patients also reached 41.6 percent on Jan. 19.