Japan’s coronavirus infections top 60,000 as resurgence continues

Aug 21 , 2020. 10 hours ago – 23:28 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Japan on Thursday passed 60,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as a resurgence in Tokyo and other urban areas shows no signs of slowing.

Over 1,100 additional cases were reported across the country, with Tokyo accounting for 339, topping the 300 mark for the first time since Saturday, the metropolitan government said.

The single-day figure in the Japanese capital compares with 186 reported on Wednesday and 207 on Tuesday.

Tokyo confirmed 385 cases on Saturday during the nationwide summer holiday season.

The daily figures reflect the most recent totals reported by health authorities and medical institutions.

Osaka Prefecture on Thursday confirmed 132 new cases, after it reported 187 the previous day and surpassed Tokyo’s daily infections for the first time in three months.

The nationwide tally now stands at 60,667, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. The death toll stands at 1,173.

Over two-thirds of the cumulative cases were confirmed from late June, when Japan began to experience a resurgence of infections. The nation logged the biggest daily increase of about 1,600 on Aug. 7.

While fatalities have remained low so far in comparison to the initial outbreak of the virus, Japan has again seen daily deaths hitting double digits in recent days.

Those in their 60s and above accounted for the vast majority of deaths, with many taking a turn for the worse a few weeks after exhibiting symptoms.

The number of patients in a critical state increased rapidly from 80 on Aug. 1 to 237 on Thursday.

The number of patients with severe symptoms who have been hospitalized in Tokyo increased to 36 from Wednesday’s 32, according to the metropolitan government.

Of Thursday’s single-day tally in Tokyo, cases involving people in their 20s and 30s accounted for more than half, while around 64 percent had unknown transmission routes.

As test results can take up to three days to confirm, the number is based on 6,120 tests conducted in the capital on Monday.

The metropolitan government has raised its alert for the pandemic to the highest of four levels, meaning “infections are spreading.”

It has requested establishments serving alcohol and karaoke venues to close by 10 p.m. until the end of August to reduce the risk of infection.