Japan confirms 896 new COVID-19 infections, Tokyo cases climb again

Source: Xinhua| 2020-08-26 22:24:05|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Wednesday confirmed 896 new daily COVID-19 infections, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 64,897 infections as infections in urban areas including the capital continue to rise.

New cases remained comparatively high in such regions, including Osaka Prefecture in western Japan, where 119 more cases were reported, bringing the region's caseload to a total of 8,139.

In Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa, 85 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, with the prefecture's tally now standing at 4,600 people.

The Tokyo metropolitan government, meanwhile, reported 236 new daily cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

The figure topped the 200-mark for the first time since Sunday and compares to 182 new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday and 95 new infections on Monday.

Tokyo's cumulative total has now risen to 19,846 cases, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.

Tokyo residents have been asked to refrain from traveling outside the prefecture, as well as avoid dining out in groups, including small gatherings held in close proximity with others, in a bid to curb the virus' spread.

Establishments serving alcohol such as restaurants, bars and karaoke parlors have been requested to shorten their opening hours until the end of August.

They have been asked to shut their doors at 10:00 p.m. to limit the number of patrons drinking into the night as another means to try and limit the virus' spread.

Local authorities have said that the later people drink, the more likely their inhibitions will lower.

This can lead to people tending to stop wearing masks once intoxicated and forgetting to adhere to acceptable social distancing measures, they said.

The metropolitan government, despite some improvement in the infection rate recently, has described the novel coronavirus situation in the capital of 14 million as "extremely severe" and has said that the "utmost caution is still required."

It has maintained its alert level at the highest on its four-tier scale meaning "infections are spreading."

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has said that a Tokyo-specific state of emergency could still be declared if the virus' resurgence worsens.

According to health officials and local authorities, the nationwide death toll from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at a total of 1,243 people, the latest figures released Wednesday evening showed. Enditem