Tokyo's daily COVID-19 infections jump to fresh record, early business closures requested

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-30 21:24:13|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday confirmed a fresh single-day record of 367 new cases of the novel coronavirus with certain businesses being asked to shorten their operating hours in a bid to curb the further spread of the virus.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told a press briefing on the matter that the situation was extremely severe and preventative moves by the Tokyo government needed to be made.

"We are facing a critical situation and are on the verge of an explosive increase of infections. We need to take measures to curb it," Koike said.

New daily infections in the capital of 14 million have topped the 200-mark on nine of the past 10 days, with the cumulative total on Wednesday reaching 12,228 infections, of which around 50 percent were confirmed in this month alone.

In a bid to curb the rampant spread of the virus, restaurants, bars and karaoke shops in the capital that serve alcohol, will be asked from Monday through the end of August to close their doors at 10 p.m.

The metropolitan government will provide each establishment abiding by the request and virus prevention measures with a subsidy of 200,000 yen (1,900 U.S. dollars), although Koike urged Tokyoites to avoid eating out and going to nighttime entertainment spots.

She said that a Tokyo-specific state of emergency declaration would be issued if the aggressive increase in COVID-19 ceases in the capital does not improve.

"I ask both businesses and customers to be as careful as possible and to act now to stop the spread of the virus," she warned.

In addition, the Tokyo governor said that stores that have been recognized by the metropolitan government as adhering to antiviral measures will, from Saturday, display a sticker informing customers that the establishment is taking the requisite preventative measures.

Nationwide on Thursday, a record 1,299 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, bringing Japan's cumulative total to 34,807 infections and marking a fresh record high for the second straight day.

Osaka and Aichi prefectures who have recently reported record high daily COVID-19 tallies, confirmed 190 and 160 new daily infections respectively, with their cumulative totals now reaching 3,841 and 1,612 cases.

Tokyo's neighboring prefectures have also seen the number of COVID-19 cases increase commensurate with the capital's following the state of emergency over the virus being fully lifted on May 25.

Kanagawa Prefecture reported 76 new cases to stand at a total of 2,430 infections, while Saitama Prefecture confirmed 57 new cases, totaling 2,253 infections.

Japan's total death toll from the pneumonia-causing virus has surpassed 1,000 people. Enditem