• Jiji, Kyodo, staff report


The cumulative total of COVID-19 infections in Japan surpassed 50,000 on Monday, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February.

It was Aug. 3 that the nationwide total reached 40,000, and it took only seven days to add another 10,000.

On Monday, at least 510 people newly tested positive for the virus across the country.

Among Japan’s 47 prefectures, Tokyo confirmed 197 new infections on Monday, the first drop under 200 since July 27 when 131 cases were reported, the metropolitan government said.

The daily figures have been running high in Tokyo since late July and hit a daily record of 472 on Aug. 1. On Sunday, the daily cases stood at 331.

Monday’s 197 cases were confirmed after 3,243 tests were conducted Friday, the metropolitan government said. It brings the city’s total infections to 16,064.

Of Monday’s total, 65 people were in their 20s and 45 in their 30s, together making up 56 percent, according to the metropolitan government. Of the rest, 34 people were in their 40s, 22 in their 50s, eight in the 10-19 age bracket, seven in their 70s, six under 10, five in their 60s and five in their 80s.

The number of seriously ill coronavirus patients in Tokyo stood at 24, up by one from Sunday.

This week, the entire nation is on summer holiday and the annual o-Bon period, when many people living in urban areas return to their family homes. Many in the public are worried how infections will spread through people’s movements.

Since the government’s controversial Go To travel campaign was launched last month, infections have been spreading to other prefectures with major tourist destinations.

Okinawa Prefecture confirmed 52 new cases Monday in a significant drop from record high of 159 on Sunday. A total of 1,179 cases have been confirmed in Okinawa so far.

The death toll related to the coronavirus across Japan as of 6 p.m. Monday increased by one to 1,063, with the new fatality confirmed in Wakayama Prefecture.

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, a large-scale infection cluster was reported at a high school. On Sunday, 92 cases, a record-high for the prefecture, were confirmed, and 86 were students of Rissho Shonan High School, while two were teachers from the school.

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