People wearing face masks walk in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area on Nov. 12, 2020, amid a surge in coronavirus cases across Japan. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Japan on Thursday confirmed more than 1,600 new coronavirus cases, a record daily high since the outbreak of the virus early this year, amid signs of a resurgence in infections nationwide as the winter season approaches.
The figure is based on a Kyodo News tally compiled from official information. On Wednesday, the number of new infections across the country came to 1,547, according to the tally.
The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday confirmed 393 new cases of coronavirus infections, bringing its cumulative total to 33,770, the highest by far among the country’s 47 prefectures.
With the mercury dropping across much of the country, the capital’s single-day infection figure topped 300 for the second consecutive day, as people tend to spend more time indoors without sufficient ventilation.
The highest daily infection figure in Tokyo of 472 was recorded on Aug. 1.
Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost island prefecture and a popular tourist destination, has recently seen a surge of coronavirus infections, confirming a record 236 cases on Thursday, topping 100 for the eighth straight day.
The cumulative tally of cases stood at 4,797 in Hokkaido, known for its cold temperatures, with 122 deaths.
Japan currently limits large crowds to 50 percent of a venue’s capacity, and a plan to extend the cap until the end of February beyond its Nov. 30 deadline was approved at a pandemic response meeting on Thursday.
“We may review the policy (to restrict the number of participants at events)” if the virus spreads further, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the Japanese government’s coronavirus response, told a press conference.
He made the remarks after attending a meeting of experts on the response to the coronavirus pandemic.