• Kyodo


The maximum number of spectators allowed at concerts, professional sports and other events will be kept at 5,000 as the coronavirus continues to spread, government officials said Friday.

The government initially planned to keep the cap in place until the end of the month after raising the maximum to 5,000 from 1,000 on July 10. But it now intends to formally approve the extension by convening a subcommittee under the coronavirus task force at an early date, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, Tokyo reported 389 infections, the highest in about a week, with urban and tourist-heavy areas seeing relatively large case numbers as the summer holiday season peaks.

The single-day figure topped 300 for the first time since Sunday and is the highest since Saturday, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 429 cases. The metro government reported 206 on Thursday.

The high number of cases is believed to reflect the rise in testing to 6,000 from about 1,000 following the three-day holiday that ended Monday.

Tokyo’s cumulative total stood at 17,069, while the nationwide tally topped 54,600, up about 1,360 from Thursday.

The daily figures reflect the most recent totals reported by health authorities and medical institutions.

Regarding Friday’s tally in Tokyo, cases involving people in their 20s and 30s accounted for about 58 percent, the metro government said, adding that roughly 62 percent were untraceable.

To slow the spread of the virus, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has urged people to avoid traveling or returning to their hometowns during the Bon holidays.

She has also asked establishments serving alcohol and karaoke venues to close by 10 p.m. through the end of the month.

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