Japan sets new record of over 14,000 daily COVID infections

Tokyo, Japan | Thu, August 5, 2021

As concerns mounted over the burden on the medical system in Tokyo, where the Olympics are being held, Japan’s daily total of COVID-19 cases topped 14,000 on Wednesday, marking a new high just days after the previous high.

Despite being in its fourth pandemic state of emergency since July 12, the capital is trying to contain a comeback of the coronavirus and has confirmed a record 4,166 daily coronavirus infections. On the same day, ten other prefectures, including nearby Saitama and Chiba, set new marks.

Japan had been reporting record single-day results for five days in a row until Sunday, when it documented almost 12,000 cases.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government is considering declaring a quasi-state of emergency in eight prefectures, including Fukushima, Tochigi, and Aichi, from Sunday to the end of the month, according to people close to the premier. On Thursday, a ruling is likely.

Some of these prefectures have petitioned the government for a quasi-emergency, which would impose economic restrictions similar to those imposed by a state of emergency but with lower penalties for noncompliance.

As of early August, the extremely contagious Delta form of the coronavirus accounted for 90 percent of infections in the Kanto region of eastern Japan, including Tokyo, and 60 percent in western Japan, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

On Saturday, Tokyo’s latest tally surpassed 4,058 cases. The seven-day rolling average of illnesses in the capital has also reached a new high of 3,478.7 per day, up 78.0 percent from the previous week.

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