Osaka confirmed 1,220 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, hitting another record high, with the tally topping 1,000 for the sixth straight day. Tokyo registered 543 COVID-19 infections, a day after logging 759 cases, the highest figure since late January.
In an attempt to stifle the burgeoning fourth wave of the virus, the government announced Friday that countermeasures imposed in parts of Japan earlier this month will be expanded to Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama and Aichi prefectures starting Tuesday, reports Ryusei Takahashi.
Also Friday, the health ministry released a report blaming limited software testing for glitches in the government’s COVID-19 contact-tracing app that were overlooked for five months. The glitches prevented users from being notified even if they had contact with infected individuals.
About 15,000 older people in Japan have been vaccinated against COVID-19, more than double the number released by the health ministry, a Kyodo survey showed Sunday. The discrepancy raises serious questions about the new national digitized system launched last week to record inoculation data.
Vaccine minister Taro Kono stressed flexibility for the inoculation program Saturday, saying the government will consider having students and workers receive shots at schools and work, Kazuaki Nagata reports. Kono said Sunday that Japan will secure enough vaccine for all residents aged 16-plus by the end of September, as Pfizer has accepted PM Suga’s request to step up supplies.
Sunday’s (and last Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (70 or over): Osaka 1,220 (760), Tokyo 543 (421), Hyogo 406 (229), Kanagawa 220 (132), Aichi 207 (129), Saitama 166 (139), Chiba 145 (98), Kyoto 116 (81), Fukuoka 110 (52), Hokkaido 98 (69), Okinawa 92 (93), Nara 79 (66). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker