Tokyo reports 24 new COVID-19 cases as capital sees 20-plus infections for third straight day

staff report

Tokyo reported 24 new cases of novel coronavirus infections Saturday, a level slightly lower than the 25 logged the previous day but the third straight day that the capital saw at least 20 cases.

Saturday’s figure, which brings the total cases in Tokyo to 5,497, comes as the capital tries to get its battered economy back on track by further easing business restrictions.

On Thursday evening, Gov. Yuriko Koike announced the lifting of the Tokyo Alert, a warning on the upward trend of the virus.

But concerns remain that some citizens may be disregarding publicly urged caution in preventing the spread of the virus. Many of the recent cases have been reported from nightlife spots, especially host clubs, in the Shinjuku entertainment district.

To address such concerns, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the Cabinet minister in charge of dealing with the pandemic, announced Saturday new guidelines on operations at nightlife establishments.

The guidelines call on operators to keep the contact information of customers for about a month and maintain an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter and 2 meters, if possible.

Subject to the guidelines are cabarets and other hospitality services, live music venues and nightclubs.

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