Thu, 24 Sep 2020

Roundup: Japan seeing sharp resurgence of COVID-19

05 Aug 2020, 23:51 GMT+10

TOKYO, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 epidemic in Japan has lately shown a sharp rebounding trend, with more than 1,000 daily new cases in successive days, while the cumulative number of confirmed cases has increased from 20,000 to 40,000 in less than a month, showing a significantly faster rate of increase.

Japan confirmed more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases on July 7 and more than 40,000 on August 3, as the number doubled in less than a month.

Tokyo has been the epicenter of the epidemic in Japan, with more than 200 new daily cases confirmed for seven consecutive days as of Monday. Tokyo's reported cumulative total of COVID-19 cases stood at 13,713 on Monday, wich accounted for more than a third of all the cases in Japan. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has said the capital would have to consider declaring another state of emergency if the outbreak spreads further.

Apart from Tokyo, the epidemic has also spiked recently in other prefectures. In Osaka, Fukuoka, Aichi and Okinawa, the number of new confirmed cases in a single day hit new records repeatedly. Iwate prefecture, with no confirmed cases since the outbreak, reported its first case on July 29. Since then, COVID-19 cases have been found in all 47 prefectures in Japan.

Okinawa Prefecture declared a state of emergency on Saturday, requiring residents to avoid unnecessary travel till Aug. 15 to avoid cross-prefecture movement. It was the first local government to declare a state of emergency on its own since Japan lifted the national state of emergency in late May.

From April 7 to May 25, Japan declared a state of emergency for about a month and a half, requesting business closure and asking people to avoid unnecessary going out.

After the state of emergency was lifted, the number of confirmed cases once dropped to more than 20 in a single day. However, the epidemic has rebounded recently, with more than 1,000 new confirmed cases in Japan on a single day for five consecutive days as of Sunday.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has repeatedly stressed that the current epidemic situation in Japan is different from that in March and April. He has said that the number of severe cases in Tokyo, which peaked at 105, is now only 16, and there were only 40 deaths in Japan in the latest month.

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