• SHARE

Osaka Prefecture reported just 72 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, falling into the 70s for the first time since March 22 as Tokyo confirmed 235 new infections. Osaka’s medical system, however, remains in a perilous state. Fifteen coronavirus-linked deaths were recorded in the prefecture the same day.

While two recent polls suggest that negative views on holding the Tokyo Olympics may be shifting in Japan, people in the hard-hit Osaka region remain anxious about the potential for overseas and Kansai-based participants to spark a resurgence of cases in the western region as they pass through, Eric Johnston reports.

Paramedics transport a coronavirus patient to a hospital in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, last month. | KYODO
Paramedics transport a coronavirus patient to a hospital in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, last month. | KYODO

As the vaccine rollout ramps up, the mass inoculation center in Osaka began taking reservations from older residents of Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures Monday, bringing the number of prefectures covered by Self-Defense Force-run vaccination sites to seven.

Meanwhile, high schools across Okinawa — and many junior high and elementary schools — have begun closing their doors in response to recent clusters of infections found at schools and child care facilities in the prefecture.

Yesterday’s (and last Monday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 1,278 (1,796). By prefecture (30 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 235 (260), Kanagawa 173 (139), Hokkaido 147 (279), Okinawa 104 (142), Aichi 97 (145), Osaka 72 (98), Chiba 68 (89), Saitama 44 (67). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)