Three of the four prefectures under the new coronavirus state of emergency saw record numbers of cases for a Monday as the nationwide death toll linked to COVID-19 hit a grim milestone, surpassing 10,000 fatalities.
Streets and trains were also as crowded as usual in areas subject to the nation’s third COVID-19 emergency, despite calls by the government for companies to implement remote working to curb the spread of the virus.
The government said it has so far detected more than 20 cases of the Indian variant of COVID-19 — a rise in the number of cases of the new strain that some fear could prove more resistant to existing vaccines, report Satoshi Sugiyama and Jesse Johnson.
Meanwhile, the health minister said Sunday that vaccinations for under-65s could be moved up to July, depending on supplies. To speed up the rollout, the government is considering setting up centers that can handle up to 10,000 shots a day in big cities and getting Self-Defense Force medics to give jabs.
In anticipation of a surge in demand for doctors and nurses eligible to administer vaccines, Japan is already planning to enlist dentists in the effort, reports Tomohiro Osaki.
Monday’s (and last Monday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (70+): Osaka 924 (719), Tokyo 425 (405), Hyogo 310 (293), Aichi 161 (124), Kanagawa 160 (142), Fukuoka 154 (118), Hokkaido 139 (78), Kyoto 119 (110), Saitama 109 (118), Chiba 90 (106). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker