National

Japan reports more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for fifth straight day

staff report, kyodo

Tokyo confirmed an additional 292 coronavirus infections on Sunday, down from the record-breaking increases of recent days, while cases newly reported across Japan topped 1,000 for the fifth straight day.

Japan has been seeing a resurgence of the virus since the central government fully lifted a state of emergency in late May, with Tokyo and some other prefectures being forced to reimpose restrictions on some businesses in an effort to prevent a further spread of infections.

The government has asked people to “consider carefully” whether they need to return to their hometowns during summer vacation, citing fears that such trips could spread the virus, particularly among the elderly.

Across the country, 1,331 more infections were reported Sunday, bringing the cumulative total to 39,902, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. The death toll stayed at 1,026.

Many in the public are on high alert while authorities in large cities have been forced to reimpose restrictions on some businesses to address the resurgence of the virus.

With Sunday’s figure in Tokyo, the city’s cumulative total now stands at 13,455.

Tokyo had raised its alert for the pandemic in mid-July to the highest of the four levels, meaning “infections are spreading.”

Gov. Yuriko Koike warned Friday that Tokyo may declare an emergency for the capital, although the central government fully lifted a state of emergency in late May.

The metropolitan government has requested that establishments serving alcohol and karaoke parlors close early at 10 p.m. to prevent further spread of the virus, effective from Monday through the end of August.

Osaka and Aichi prefectures are following suit after a growing number of infections were reported mainly in downtown areas.

In Osaka, 194 new infections were reported Sunday, slightly lower than the 195 confirmed the previous day. The highest daily count in the prefecture is 221 logged last Wednesday.

In Aichi, Gov. Hideaki Omura said 160 new cases were confirmed Sunday, with 103 in Nagoya. The prefecture’s cumulative total is 2,139.

Prefectures near Tokyo were also seeing a spike in infections. Kanagawa Prefecture reported 72 new cases on Sunday, while Chiba reported 51.

In Okinawa, the prefectural government said Sunday that 64 more people were found to have been infected with the virus. A total of 517 cases have been confirmed so far.

The Okinawa government also said it had received reports from the U.S. military that 13 of its personnel at Camp Hansen tested positive for the virus, as well as two at Camp Kinser and one each at the Kadena and Futenma bases. The total number of U.S. military personnel in the prefecture infected with COVID-19 now stands at 273, according to the Okinawa government.

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