Roundup: Young Japanese being hit by new wave of COVID-19 infections in Tokyo



The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday said that 28 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the capital, with the latest figures following an alert for Tokyo being issued earlier this week following a spike in cases.

Of the latest infections confirmed, 22 of them are people aged in their twenties and thirties, accounting for around 80 percent of the total, the Tokyo metropolitan government said, adding that total cases in the capital had risen to 5,323, with the death toll standing at 307.

Of the new cases, five men in their twenties and thirties worked in the nighttime entertainment industry, while four men and women in their teens and twenties are known to have attended a party at night, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Thursday reiterated her warning about nightspots in the capital, saying that while there are many cases under investigation, there have been confirmed infection cases related to certain clubs and nightspots in Tokyo.

According to local media reports, many of the new cases in the capital have been connected to the Kabukicho entertainment and red-light neighborhood in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward.

Numerous bars, pubs and clubs remained open throughout previous shutdown requests, as their owners said they could not afford for their businesses to not be running, despite the global pandemic.

Koike said she would hold talks with Japan’s minister for economic revitalization, Yasutoshi Nishimura, regarding measures that might have to be taken to curb a resurgence of the virus’ spread through such nightspots.

Since mid-April, Tokyo, the hardest-hit among all of Japan’s 47 prefectures by the pneumonia-causing virus, the number of recorded daily COVID-19 cases had been decreasing, with a number of single-digit cases seen over a period of time through May, until an uptick increase recently.

Koike said in May, however, that an alert for Tokyo would be issued if the number of new infections exceeds 20 a day or the ratio of the weekly new infection increases to more than one compared to the previous week.

She also said another barometer for issuing an alert would be if the ratio for unknown infection routes climbs to more than 50 percent.

Koike has said that the alert is aimed at making residents aware of how much infections are spreading in Tokyo and while it does not mean plans will definitely be changed regarding the recent easing of restrictions on social or economic activities, people are still requested to refrain from visiting nightspots.

The alert is to warn people in the first instance. However, if the number of cases continues to rise, the Tokyo metropolitan government will once again request businesses and people to restrict their activities, Koike has said.

Of the 22 newly confirmed cases Thursday, infection routes of 14 of the cases were unknown, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.

Nationwide, 47 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed Thursday, bringing Japan‘s total number of domestic infections to 10,708.

The death toll currently stands at 923, including those from a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama.

On a prefectural basis, Tokyo has confirmed a total of 5,323 COVID-19 cases, Osaka 1,783, Kanagawa 1,379, Hokkaido 1,105, Saitama 1,002, Chiba 904, while Fukuoka Prefecture has confirmed a total of 792 COVID-19 cases, according to the latest official data Thursday.


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