Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday reported another record of 1,759 new COVID-19 cases as the spread of the omicron variant of the virus continues in the southernmost prefecture and across the country, with several major centers reporting their largest daily tallies in about four months.
The total in Okinawa bested the record 1,414 cases set a day earlier, while the total number of confirmed infections in the prefecture rose to 55,897 on Saturday. In addition, the U.S. military informed prefectural authorities that 302 new cases had been confirmed among personnel at bases in Okinawa.
Nationwide, the number of new infections was set to top 7,000, Kyodo News reported.
New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo on Saturday reached a recent high of 1,224, the most since Sept. 15 and a dramatic rise from the 79 cases reported on Jan. 1. Serious cases rose by one to reach four. A total of 565 of the new patients had received two doses of a vaccine, while 327 unvaccinated patients tested positive for the coronavirus. The vaccination status of 313 individuals was unknown. Nineteen people had received one shot of a vaccine.
Osaka Prefecture logged 891 new cases, its highest daily tally since Sept. 16, while Kanagawa Prefecture saw its highest figure since Sept. 19 with 354.
Also Saturday, Hiroshima Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki announced the prefecture had logged a record 547 cases.
Elsewhere, Aichi Prefecture logged 398 cases, its most since Sept. 23. Hyogo Prefecture logged 246 new cases while Hokkaido tallied 132 and Shizuoka Prefecture saw 125. The figure in Hyogo was the most since Sept. 25.
On Friday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration put Okinawa, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures under a quasi-state of emergency after consulting with experts amid an “explosive” rise in new COVID-19 cases spurred by the omicron variant. Yamaguchi logged 154 new cases Saturday.
U.S. military personnel are believed to have triggered a coronavirus resurgence in the three prefectures. Many people in the three prefectures live in close proximity to American bases. Infection prevention measures taken by the U.S. forces, which some have criticized as being too lax, are thought to be behind that explosion of cases.
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