• Staff report, Jiji, Kyodo


Osaka Prefecture reported 603 new COVID-19 cases on Monday — a record for the day — while Tokyo saw 306 cases, its most for the day since Feb. 1.

The rising number of cases came as the metropolitan government and areas of Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures began imposing stricter measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus the same day.

Last week, the central government put the city of Osaka, four cities in Hyogo Prefecture and Sendai under the coronavirus quasi-emergency, while Tokyo's 23 wards and six cities in the capital, as well as the city of Kyoto and nine cities in Okinawa, were added to the pre-emergency list on Monday.

Osaka's Monday caseload dipped below 700 for the first time in a week, and neighboring Hyogo Prefecture logged 159 new coronavirus cases, also a Monday record high. Kyoto Prefecture, meanwhile, reported 42 cases and Okinawa Prefecture recorded 37 infections.

Tokyo's tally was below 400 for the first time in six days, although it increased from 249 a week earlier, as the average number of daily new cases in the capital in the week through Monday jumped to 476.1, compared to an average of 391.9 in the previous week.

Of the new cases in Tokyo, 88 were confirmed among people in their 20s, 57 among those in their 30s and 47 among those in their 40s. Those age 65 or older accounted for 28 cases.

The number of infected people with severe symptoms under the metropolitan government’s criteria rose by three from the previous day to 42. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the capital came to 126,284.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, the cumulative number of infections nationwide, including among cruise ship passengers and crew members, came to 507,622, up by 21,120 from a week earlier. The weekly number of newly confirmed cases exceeded 20,000 for the first time since the final week of January and surpassed the preceding week's total for the sixth consecutive week.

Nationwide deaths linked to the virus came to 9,422, up by 173 from a week before.

Among the country's 47 prefectures as of early Monday, Osaka recorded the largest number of new cases in the latest week at 5,404, followed by Tokyo at 3,276, Hyogo, adjacent to Osaka, at 1,894, Aichi at 987, and Kanagawa at 941.

On Sunday, cases nationwide dipped below 3,000 for the first time in five days, registering 2,777 new infections. The daily count, however, exceeded the week-before level of 2,468. New fatalities numbered 17, including four in Osaka Prefecture. The number of severely ill patients rose by nine from Saturday to 520, according to the health ministry.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.