• Staff report, Jiji


Tokyo reported 854 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday after seeing a figure above 900 for three consecutive days.

Osaka Prefecture confirmed 576 cases, the first time since April 5 for the daily tally to drop below 600, while Hokkaido posted 593 cases, the second highest on record following 712 marked the previous day.

The government Friday presented a plan to place Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures under a coronavirus state of emergency from Sunday to May 31.

The seven-day average of new infections in Tokyo came to 926.3, compared to 766.4 a week before.

Among the new cases, those in people age 65 or older accounted for 85. The number of COVID-19 patients in Tokyo considered to be seriously ill under the metropolitan government’s criteria came to 84, unchanged from Thursday.

On Thursday, Hokkaido logged a record 712 new coronavirus cases, up sharply from its previous daily record of 529 new cases, set the previous day.

Of Thursday’s total, 499 cases were confirmed in the prefectural capital of Sapporo, renewing the city’s record high.

The nationwide tally of new coronavirus cases came to 6,879 on the day, including 761 in Osaka Prefecture.

Across the country, the ongoing number of people severely ill with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed 25 from the previous day to another record high of 1,214. Meanwhile, 101 new deaths were reported among infected people.

Hokkaido’s daily count started to increase rapidly earlier this month, topping 500 for the first time on Sunday.

A panel of experts appointed by the health ministry warned on Wednesday that infection is expected to spread further in Hokkaido, while daily new cases are on the decline in the Kansai western region.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, the prefectural government announced on Thursday that a man in his 50s who returned from India last month has tested positive for the Indian variant of the coronavirus.

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.