Coronavirus: Japan on maximum alert after a record number of cases

Sylvie Claire / November 19, 2020

 

Japan is on "high alert" after registering a record number of daily coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday, but without planning any further restrictive measures immediately.

 

More than 2,000 new positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in the country on Wednesday, including nearly 500 in Tokyo, two new records, according to official figures.

 

Although relatively low compared to other countries, these figures show a sharp increase in the pandemic in the Japanese archipelago, where testing is not carried out on a large scale.

 

I consider that we are now on high alert, the Prime Minister told reporters on Thursday morning.

 

 

I ask the Japanese people to systematically take measures such as wearing a mask, Suga said, deeming it desirable even during conversations at the restaurant.

 

 

According to state-owned broadcaster NHK, the Japanese leader called expert meetings Thursday and Friday to address the growing number of infections before the government considers further measures.

 

The country has increased the number of tests it performs, but it remains relatively low: only 5,000 to 6,000 people are tested daily in the Japanese capital of some 14 million people.

 

Since January, Japan has recorded a total of 121,000 cases of coronavirus and just over 1,900 deaths.

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