• staff report, Jiji, Kyodo


Hokkaido confirmed 119 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, topping the 100 mark for the first time, while Tokyo reported 269, local authorities and media reports said.

Hokkaido has seen a spike in new cases in the past two weeks. On Thursday, Sapporo alone had 93 cases, with a number of clusters having been confirmed in an entertainment district in the city.

Thursday’s figure brought the cumulative cases in Hokkaido to 3,563.

Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki met with Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto on Wednesday to discuss possible measures to deal with the infection spike. According to city officials, Sapporo is likely to call for a shortening of business hours at restaurants that offer alcohol in the Susukino entertainment district.

In Tokyo, Thursday’s figure for new cases was based on 1,769 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of cases stood at 31,893, while the number of seriously ill patients was 38.

Of Thursday’s total in the capital, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new infections, at 77, followed by those in their 30s, at 55, and those in their 40s, at 50.

Japan logged 624 new infections on Wednesday, while the nation’s COVID-19 death toll rose by four to 1,812.

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