Japan confirms 592 new COVID-19 cases, cumulative infections approach 70,000

TOKYO, Sept. 2– Japan on Wednesday reported 592 new coronavirus cases, dropping from 633 new infections confirmed the previous day and bringing the nation’s cumulative COVID-19 tally to 69,743, not including those related to a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year. Of the new infections, 141 were confirmed in Tokyo, bringing the…

TOKYO, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Japan on Wednesday reported 592 new coronavirus cases, dropping from 633 new infections confirmed the previous day and bringing the nation’s cumulative COVID-19 tally to 69,743, not including those related to a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.

Of the new infections, 141 were confirmed in Tokyo, bringing the capital’s total caseload to 21,128, the highest among Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Tokyo’s latest figure compares with 170 infections confirmed the previous day and 100 reported on Monday, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Tokyo’s daily tally marks the ninth straight day that infections have reached three digits.

The capital reported a record 8,126 new cases of the novel coronavirus in August alone, far surpassing the 6,466 infections reported in July.

The Tokyo metropolitan government last week, thus, decided to extend a request for establishments serving alcohol, such as clubs, bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors to close their doors earlier than normal.

The request will be extended until Sept. 15, the local government said, in a bid to curb the further spread of the virus in the capital, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said.

The earlier 10:00 p.m. business closure request was set to expire at the end of August, but the metropolitan government has opted to extend it for establishments in Tokyo’s 23 wards, amid rising COVID-19 cases linked to the kind of establishments in question.

The metropolitan government said it may well allocate 150,000 yen (1,400 U.S. dollars) to relevant business operators who comply with the extension request.

The extension comes as the capital has seen a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases since July, with a disproportionately high number of cases detected at places serving alcohol, including clubs in downtown entertainment districts, as well as at establishments where people gather to eat and drink in close proximity with each other.

Tokyo has been hit by a resurgence of infections since July, with the daily number of new cases reaching a record 472 on Aug. 1 and many infections have occurred at nightlife establishments or while people have been dining out, the local government said.

The metropolitan government has, hence, maintained its alert level at the highest on its four-tier scale meaning “infections are spreading.”

As for other hard-hit regions, the western prefecture of Osaka confirmed 96 new infections on Wednesday bringing its total to 8,752, while Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa confirmed 76 additional infections, bringing its cumulative total to 5,095 cases.

The nationwide death toll from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 1,340 people, according to the latest figures released Wednesday evening. Enditem

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