• staff report, Kyodo

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The total number of coronavirus cases nationwide surged past the 1,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, with Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka and Okinawa prefectures setting single-day records for new infections, media reports said.

Osaka reported 221 new COVID-19 infections, topping 200 for the first time, while Fukuoka saw at least 101 cases.

Aichi recorded 167 cases, 93 of which were reported in Nagoya. Meanwhile, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures recorded 70 and 49 new cases, respectively, NHK said, both the highest since the state of emergency was called off on May 25.

Iwate, which had been the last prefecture to report no COVID-19 infections, confirmed its first two cases on Wednesday.

Tokyo confirmed 250 infections the same day, its second consecutive day over 200, the metropolitan government said, a day after the nation set a single-day record for the most cases of the deadly virus.

Wednesday’s figure brings the capital’s cumulative total to 11,861. The city’s daily count hit a record high of 366 on July 23. Over the past week, daily counts exceeded over 200, except for the 131 on Monday. Tuesday saw 266 cases.

The figures announced this week have drawn much attention because they may reflect how the virus spread during a four-day holiday that started July 22.

It also came as the government’s kicked off its controversial Go To Travel tourism campaign that offers subsidies for domestic travel, excluding trips to and from Tokyo.

Other prefectures in the metropolitan area, as well as large cities across the nation, have seen a surging number of infections recently.

The southern resort island of Okinawa has not been an exception. The prefecture reported around 45 new cases Wednesday, setting a record for the third straight day, local media said.

The surge in Osaka prompted the prefectural government to ask groups of five or more people to refrain from visiting restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments, but the move has been met with skepticism over whether it will lead to a reduction in COVID-19 cases.

Tokyo reported 250 cases of novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, a week after the Go To Travel campaign kicked off on July 22. | REUTERS
Tokyo reported 250 cases of novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, a week after the Go To Travel campaign kicked off on July 22. | REUTERS

Nationwide, Japan saw 982 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest single-day total on record, according to a Kyodo News tally.

The figure, based on information from local authorities, reflects a resurgence of virus infections that is beginning to expand beyond Tokyo. The previous single-day record of 981 new cases came last Thursday.

On Tuesday, Osaka and Aichi prefectures reported 155 and 110 new cases, respectively. Both figures set new records before those numbers were toppled Wednesday.

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