Osaka Prefecture recorded no new coronavirus infections Sunday, in the first such day no cases were reported in more than two months.

While Osaka is still one of the eight prefectures that is operating under the state of emergency, the prefecture partially relaxed its business closure requests on Saturday after meeting its own criteria regarding the COVID-19 situation.

Osaka has allowed some business operators, such as movie theaters, to reopen and restaurants and bars to extend their business hours to 10 p.m. from 8 p.m.

March 9 was the last time Osaka reported zero infections. The daily infection cases have been declining in the prefecture, which reported two and three on Saturday and Friday, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it confirmed five new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, the lowest single-day figure in nearly two months.

The capital has now kept the daily number of confirmed cases below 100 for just over two weeks. Sunday’s number is the lowest since March 22, when it saw just three confirmed cases. Tokyo’s total number of cases now stands at 5,055 as of Sunday.

With the lifting of the nationwide state of emergency declaration in 39 of 47 prefectures, Japan is gradually reopening its economy, though Tokyo remains under the measure along with Osaka.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has recently unveiled criteria that will be used for the easing of stay-at-home and business-closure requests within the capital, which focuses on a step-by-step approach. Factors include keeping single-day confirmed infections under 20 and untraceable cases comprising less than half the daily total.

Koike also said Tokyoites must stay alert and continue to refrain from nonessential outings while working from home as much as possible until May 31, when the state of emergency is scheduled to end.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.