The Japanese capital, Tokyo, has reported more than 500 new cases of Covid-19 For the first time since the outbreak began, the city government raised the alert to its highest levels.
Justin McCurry, our Tokyo correspondent, says:
The new alert level, which means that the infection is “spreading”, has not been present since early September, when it was lowered to Level 3, which means that the “infection” appears to be spreading.
However, the alerts only aim to reverse the current situation of the Coronavirus and necessarily mean that new restrictions will be imposed.
The Tokyo metropolitan government was not expected to ask bars, restaurants and other businesses to restrict their working hours – a measure it had taken in response to previous increases in infections, Kyodo News said.
Japanese authorities do not have the legal powers to impose European-style closures or restrictions on business operations.
The main island is in the far north Hokkaido is also expected to set a daily record From more than 240 cases on Thursday. Governor Naomichi Suzuki has already asked residents of Sapporo, the largest city on the island, to avoid unnecessary outings and was the first to declare a local state of emergency during the initial wave of infections in late February.
Tokyo is now seeing a record number of new infections for the second consecutive day, while on Wednesday it set a new nationwide record with 2,201 cases. Japan It has recorded a total of 121,963 injuries and 1,933 deaths. Tokyo is the most affected region with more than 35,000 cases in total.
While Japan has it They were better off during the pandemic More than in many other countries, fears are growing that there will be a steady rise in cases as winter approaches and people are spending more time in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, including restaurants.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday that Japan is on “high alert”. But he did not announce new restrictions and said the government-backed travel and food campaigns would remain in place.
Instead, Suga asked people to continue wearing masks even when eating out, and to remove them only briefly to eat and drink.
“I once again ask the citizens to be vigilant about taking basic precautions,” he told reporters. “We ask people to engage in calm and masked eating. I’ll do the same starting today.”
Shigeru Omi, who is leading the government’s expert panel on the virus, has called for tougher preventive measures. “We are on the verge of a situation where we will have to restrict economic and social activities more stringently,” he said at a parliamentary session on Wednesday, according to NHK public broadcaster. “To avoid this, we need to raise our caution level again.”
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