• Kyodo, Jiji, staff report


Tokyo on Thursday reported 1,027 new COVID-19 cases, the first time for the daily tally to top 1,000 since Jan. 28.

The seven-day rolling average of infections per day in Tokyo rose to 782.1, up 14.3% from the previous seven-day period.

Also on Thursday, Osaka reported 1,171 new cases and a record high 44 deaths. Aichi Prefecture confirmed 431 infection cases, matching its record high. Ishikawa and Akita prefectures had 39 and 17 cases, respectively, rewriting their record highs.

The resurgence of the pandemic in the capital and other parts of Japan comes less than three months before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, with organizers floating the possibility of holding the games without fans.

On Wednesday, Japan reported 5,793 additional coronavirus cases, the highest daily level in over three months.

The governors of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures urged residents Wednesday to refrain from traveling to, from and within the metropolitan region ahead of the string of holidays.

In an online meeting, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her counterparts from Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures asked for people to stay at home and to stop drinking on streets and dining with people who are not members.

The local government chiefs asked businesses to cut the number of commuters by 70% through the promotion of remote working.

Koike said during the meeting that the Golden Week holiday period through early May is “a juncture that will decide whether we can stop the explosive spread of infections.”

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