• Jiji


The health ministry on Thursday updated for the first time in about two weeks its map showing clusters of new COVID-19 cases in the country.

At the end of March, there were a total of 26 clusters in 14 of the nation’s 47 prefectures — up from 13 in eight prefectures at the last count.

Places where five or more people were infected with the virus are shown as clusters on the map.

According to the revised map, Miyagi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Gifu, Kyoto and Oita prefectures saw clusters develop for the first time, with the combined number of cluster sites in the six prefectures coming to eight. Five more cluster sites in total were added in Tokyo, and in Chiba, Kanagawa and Hyogo prefectures.

Clusters tend to occur in closed, crowded places involving close contact, ministry officials said, adding that such group infections have so far been seen in environments such as medical and welfare facilities used by many elderly people, and locations where people breathed hard while singing loudly or doing exercise.

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