Tokyo’s daily, monthly coronavirus infections rise to record levels
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - The Tokyo metropolitan government reported on Friday 570 new coronavirus infections, pushing up its monthly tally for November to the highest on record, Kyodo reports.
The figure, which surpassed 539 logged last Saturday, brought the number of infections confirmed in Tokyo in November to 8,567, topping 8,125 in August and reflecting the growing severity of infections in the capital.
The capital's tally now stands at around 40,000 cases, with the number of people suffering severe COVID-19 symptoms rising by one from the previous day to 61 people, the highest level since a state of emergency declared over the pandemic was lifted in late May.
As test results can take a few days to confirm, Friday's figure is based on a record 9,000 tests conducted in the capital on Tuesday following a three-day weekend.
Daily infection figures tend to be low at the start of the week, as many medical institutions do not conduct testing for the virus on weekends.
The metropolitan government is believed to have increased the number of tests on Tuesday to account for the national holiday on Monday.
Among Japan's other prefectures, Osaka reported 383 new infections on Friday, while Hokkaido saw 252 and Aichi logged a daily record of 234.
Tokyo has been logging record numbers of virus infections, with more than 500 daily cases recorded for three straight days last week.
Last Thursday, the metropolitan government raised its virus alert to the highest of four levels, which was last in place until Sept. 10.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Wednesday expressed concern about the capital's trajectory and requested that restaurants serving alcohol close by 10 p.m. from Saturday through Dec. 17.
A similar request made during August was later extended until mid-September for Tokyo's central 23 wards.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the shorter hours would be «crucial» in stemming the coronavirus's spread, with other major cities Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo having already taken or set to take similar steps.
The metropolitan government has also decided to halt the issuance and sale of discount coupons under a state-run subsidy program, dubbed «Go To Eat,» to encourage dining out.
Koike, however, stopped short of calling for the exclusion of Tokyo from the central government's «Go To Travel» domestic travel subsidy program as the governors of Hokkaido and Osaka did for their areas, saying it was a decision that should be made by the central government.
Speaking at a coronavirus task force meeting, Suga said trips departing from Osaka and Sapporo, in addition to those landing in either city, would be removed from the travel program.