Japan's Coronavirus Cases at Record Level Because of Tokyo: Experts

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--The upsurge in coronavirus cases in Tokyo toward the year-end has pushed up the overall number of cases in Japan to the highest level, a group of experts said Wednesday.

New coronavirus cases turned down in Hokkaido and Osaka Prefecture, where restaurants and bars had already been asked to shorten operating hours. But in Tokyo the virus continued to spread mainly from eating and drinking places, resulting in spikes in new cases in neighboring prefectures, the health ministry advisory board said.

In the week through Monday, new infections in the country totaled some 25,000, of which roughly 50 pct were detected in Tokyo and neighboring Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, the board pointed out.

The advisory group called the medical service situation "very severe" in the capital and "severe" in the prefectures.

In Tokyo, hospitals are being asked to convert beds for use by COVID-19 patients and are increasingly finding it difficult to deal with the current situation, it said, referring to the fact that in the week through Sunday there were more than 3,000 people who had yet to find where to stay for treatment after testing positive for the virus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press