Five updates on the fight against the novel coronavirus, as seen from Japan:

  • Yamagata and Ehime prefectures logged record numbers of new coronavirus cases on Thursday, as Japan sees worrying signs of another resurgence in infections. Tokyo saw 394 new COVID-19 cases, while Osaka registered 266, the most since early February. Miyagi’s daily count stood at 161.
  • The National Center for Global Health and Medicine, a key disease control facility in Tokyo, saw a huge surge in cyberattacks in 2020, with the figure quadrupling to around 5.3 million from some 1.2 million in 2019 before the start of the pandemic, with many attempts originating in China and Russia.
  • Kyoto University’s CiRA Foundation said it will provide induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells created from the blood of people who recovered from COVID-19 to researchers in Japan and abroad free of charge. The aim is to help researchers identify why some people develop severe symptoms of the disease.
Japanese cherry blossom festival hit by COVID restrictions | BBC NEWS
Japanese cherry blossom festival hit by COVID restrictions | BBC NEWS
  • Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks will extend their opening hours daily from April 1, following the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Also, the maximum daily limit for visitors to the two Disney parks in Chiba Prefecture will be boosted to 20,000 per park from the current 10,000.
  • As Japan prepares for its COVID-19 vaccine rollout for its older population next month, the speedy program in Britain has impressed many older Japanese residents there. “It was very efficient,” one man tells Kyodo after his jab, but “it made me think that carrying out these types of quick verifications of allergies and such … would not be possible in Japan.”

Thursday’s (and last Thursday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (40 or over): Tokyo 394 (323), Osaka 266 (141), Miyagi 161 (98), Kanagawa 121 (160), Saitama 113 (115), Hyogo 100 (76), Chiba 98 (122), Aichi 79 (38), Okinawa 77 (43), Hokkaido 67 (96), Ehime 59 (1), Yamagata 49 (18). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker