• staff report, Jiji


Japan’s COVID-19 infections broke 10,000 on Saturday just days after a nationwide state of emergency was declared.

The total reached around 10,100 by Saturday afternoon and excluded cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine.

Tokyo, which has more infections than any prefecture, logged 181 new cases Saturday, the metropolitan government said after reporting a single-day high of 201 on Friday.

Saturday’s cases brought the capital’s infection total to 2,975.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency Thursday for all 47 prefectures and asked the public to reduce person-to-person contact by 70 to 80 percent to contain the pandemic.

The national tally topped 5,000 on April 9, about three months after the first domestic infection was confirmed. It then doubled in only nine days.

On Saturday, more than 250 people were found infected with the coronavirus throughout the nation.

Tokyo is followed by Osaka, which has over 1,070 cases, Kanagawa with more than 720, and Chiba with about 630.

In urban areas, the sources of infection are becoming increasingly difficult to track down.

In Hokkaido, however, infections are trending upward again after the prefectural government’s state of emergency declaration in late February appeared to be bending the curve. On Friday, Hokkaido reported a single-day record of 33 cases.

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