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Japan set a record for seriously ill COVID-19 patients for the eighth straight day with 472 on Monday, as the country — and its medical system — girds itself for a tough winter.

While the daily number of new cases nationwide dipped below 2,000 for the first time in five days, totaling 1,446, data showed Tokyo had set a monthly record in November with 9,857 cases, surpassing the previous record by around 1,700 infections.

The surge in coronavirus cases has not been limited to cities and prefectures, though. It’s also hitting U.S. military bases in Okinawa, which saw infections run rampant in the summer. New cases there involving U.S. military personnel hit a single-day record Monday, with the marines reporting 72 infections, reports Jesse Johnson. All of the infected had traveled from the U.S. and were under quarantine after being tested upon arrival, according to the military.

Security checks for next year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are demonstrated to the media in the capital on Oct. 21, with security guards wearing face shields and a thermography device measuring a participant's temperature.
Security checks for next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are demonstrated to the media in the capital on Oct. 21, with security guards wearing face shields and a thermography device measuring a participant’s temperature.

The nationwide surge in cases also came as the  Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee estimated the price tag of COVID-19 countermeasures and costs in relation to the postponement of the games at an estimated additional ¥300 billion, Kyodo reports.

The Tokyo Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the central government are to present an interim report on novel coronavirus countermeasures Wednesday, having held several meetings on the issue since September, sources told Kyodo.

As planning for the Olympics and Paralympics rolls forward amid the pandemic, the health ministry said Monday it will launch a multilingual service on its coronavirus telephone helpline ahead of the games.

Callers will now be able to receive consultations in seven foreign languages — English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Callers will first reach Japanese speaking staff, and interpreters will be standing by to take over calls if necessary.

Monday’s (and Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (20 or over): Tokyo 311 (418), Osaka 262 (381), Hokkaido 151 (192), Aichi 108 (115), Kanagawa 84 (151), Chiba 69 ( 75), Saitama 66 (139), Hyogo 56 (111), Shizuoka 42 (66), Okinawa 32 (47), Fukuoka 27 (43), Ibaraki 23 (30). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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