The daily number of new coronavirus cases across Japan came to 1,793 on Monday, standing below 2,000 for the first time since April 5. Osaka Prefecture had 98 cases, the first figure below 100 since March 22.
Over 90% of coronavirus cases in Japan are now attributable to mutated strains, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases has said. The pace of decline in cases in areas covered by the government’s COVID-19 state of emergency has been slowed chiefly due to the spread of the British strain, believed to be 30% more infectious than the standard type.
Even more feared is the so-called India variant. Prefectural governors on Saturday urged the central government to strengthen border controls and help local governments improve their testing capacities to detect such variants.
Japan’s so-far sluggish vaccination efforts got a boost Monday as the provision of shots at two state-run mass-inoculation centers in Tokyo and Osaka hit full speed, totalling 15,000 jabs a day between them just a week after opening.
Also Monday, Pfizer authorized the use of its vaccine for children age 12 to 15 in Japan, Tomohiro Osaki reports.
Yesterday’s (and last Monday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 1,793 (2,708). By prefecture (60 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Hokkaido 279 (366), Tokyo 260 (340), Aichi 145 (280), Okinawa 142 (104), Kanagawa 139 (219), Osaka 98 (216), Chiba 89 (82), Saitama 67 (83), Fukuoka 66 (195), Hiroshima 65 (103). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker