COVID-19 cases spiking for 3rd straight day in Japan's capital sparks fears over nationwide resurgence

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-26 22:46:46|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday said that 54 new cases of COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in the capital, with the latest figure coming on the heels of 48 cases confirmed a day earlier.

The latest spike in cases has sparked concerns among officials about a resurgence of cases in the capital and beyond, with the uptick in cases also following 55 cases confirmed on Wednesday, the highest since May 5.

The most recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Tokyo also marks the second time that daily infection rates have topped 50 in the city of 14 million since Japan lifted its state of emergency declaration over the coronavirus on May 25.

The number of people in the capital city who have tested positive for the pneumonia-causing virus now stands at 5,997, the Tokyo metropolitan government said, with 40 of the latest cases, or 74 percent of the total, involving people in their twenties and thirties being infected.

Of the latest infection cases in the capital, 31 are workers or guests of a COVID-19 cluster-hit, red-light district in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward. The infection routes are unknown in 28 of the new cases, officials said Friday.

The upsurge in cases over the past three days in the city follows the government last Friday completely lifting its nationwide travel restrictions, with the the move met by throngs of passengers returning to airports and train stations.

Prior to the lifting of travel restrictions, the government had requested that people continue to refrain from making unnecessary trips, especially across prefectural borders.

In particular, people were urged not to travel to and from Tokyo, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic here, and prefectures surrounding the capital including Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa Prefecture.

The request was also made for people to refrain from traveling to or from Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture, amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases there at the time.

The Tokyo metropolitan government last Friday, also lifted its remaining business restrictions on nightclubs, live music and similar venues and allowed the number of people attending large-scale, outdoor events like concerts to be increased to 1,000 people.

Indoor venues, meanwhile, are now allowed to permit entrance to numbers of people totaling half the venue's capacity.

Across Japan on Friday, meanwhile, 105 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed, a record high since May 9, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 18,317, not including those related to a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

The death toll from the virus now stands at a total of 984, according to the latest figures Friday evening from the health ministry and local authorities. Enditem