National

Tokyo logs 160 infections and record 15 deaths as virus count seesaws

JIJI, Bloomberg, STAFF REPORT

The capital's coronavirus count continued to seesaw Saturday with 160 infections and 15 fatalities — the highest single-day death total yet.

COVID-19 cases hit triple digits for the second day in a row after an up-and-down week that saw 165 cases reported on Friday, 46 on Thursday, 47 on Wednesday, 112 Tuesday and 39 on Monday.

Saturday's infections brought Tokyo's official total to 4,480 with 141 deaths, data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government showed.

In neighboring Chiba Prefecture, an ambulance attendant in his 30s tested positive for the virus. He had provided life-saving measures to a man in his 90s on April 18 who tested positive as well.

At Kawasaki Kyodo Hospital in Kanagawa, six more people including a nurse were confirmed infected and an infected patient reportedly died.

Earlier in the day, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said details would be released Monday about its plan to restart economic activity suspended by the pandemic.

The 34 prefectures not under "special alert” will see requests for public restrictions ease once the virus becomes easier to control, the minister said in a videoconference with the governors of Tokyo and Osaka. The 13 prefectures bearing that status, however, can expect a more concrete explanation on Monday, he said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday he is leaning toward extending the national state of emergency to June, with a final decision likely on Monday.

The state of emergency, which allows governors to strongly ask businesses to close and people to stay home, was scheduled to end on May 6.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura asked Nishimura to have the government swiftly put support measures into law, including business assistance for rent payments. They also asked that prefectural and other governments be given more power to seek cooperation for responding to the pandemic.

Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Coronavirus banner