National

Daily infections reported in Tokyo top 100 for first time

KYODO, JIJI

The capital reported 118 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, marking the first time the single-day total has surpassed the century mark as Japan continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

The figure brings the total in Tokyo to 891, putting more pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Five deaths linked to the virus were also reported in Tokyo on Saturday, on top of one in Gifu Prefecture earlier in the day, bringing the total death toll in Japan to 83.

As of Saturday, 817 of the positive cases required hospitalization. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government increased the number of beds reserved for coronavirus patients from 750 a day earlier and are working to secure space for all of those in need, officials said.

For the second weekend in a row, many Tokyo residents refrained from going out on Saturday after the metro and central governments requested they avoid unnecessary outings or meetings.

Nationwide, the cumulative number of new COVID-19 cases rose by 225 the same day to 4,062, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine earlier this year.

Nationally, a total of 357 people tested positive on Friday, sending the daily count past 300 for the first time.

According to the metropolitan government, two more virus deaths at Eiju General Hospital in Taito Ward were confirmed Friday. In-hospital infections have been suspected at the facility, where the coronavirus-linked death toll stands at nine and cases at 140, up by 13.

On Friday, one infected person died each in Matsuyama and the city of Fukuoka.

In Osaka Prefecture, 35 people — the highest single-day number yet — tested positive. Of them, 23 were untraceable, also a record.

In Fukui, eight infected men in their 50s or 60s were found to have visited the same eatery. A total of 18 people linked to the eight, including co-workers, family members and eatery employees, were also confirmed infected.

The Fukui Prefectural Government has labeled the cases a cluster.

In Ehime, seven new cases were found. Four had close contact with infected people who attended a funeral in Matsuyama on Monday. The number of cases related to that funeral rose to eight.

Three more residents at Hokuso Ikusei-en, a care home for people with disabilities in the town of Tonosho, Chiba Prefecture, also tested positive. A total of 100 people related to the facility have now been confirmed to have the virus.

According to sources including the Kyoto Municipal Government, 11 people were newly found to be infected, including students at Kyoto Sangyo University and those who had close contact with them. Cases linked to the university have surpassed 60.

In Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, a female nurse at Kitasato University Hospital tested positive in a coronavirus test. The city will conduct virus tests on other workers and patients at the hospital who had close contact with her.

In Aichi Prefecture, seven police officers were confirmed to have been infected. They had practiced kendo together in Nagoya between January and March.

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