Tokyo, Japan reported 1,323 new coronavirus cases today, on Saturday, with record daily cases on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido and in the urban prefecture of Kanagawa, according to a Kyodo News tally based on official data.
This came as experts warn the country faces higher infection risks as winter approaches.
In Hokkaido, 187 cases were reported today, exceeding 100 for a third straight day and prompting the local authorities to request nightlife establishments, such as hostess bars and host clubs, in the entertainment district of the capital Sapporo not to operate after 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning.
Under the measure introduced the same day and to be in place through Nov. 27, restaurants are not asked to shorten their business hours but are requested to refrain from serving alcohol after 10 p.m.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory illness, the Japanese government has been advocating an anti-coronavirus slogan of avoiding the “3 Cs”: closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.
However, experts say that avoiding the 3 Cs will become difficult in winter when people tend to spend time in poorly ventilated rooms as temperatures drop.
On Saturday, the Hokkaido government raised its own five-level pandemic alert to the third highest from the second, the officials said, meaning stronger measures are needed to prevent the strain on the medical system from increasing continuously.
Among other regions, Kanagawa reported a record 137 cases while Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan saw 30 cases, also a daily record.
In Tokyo, newly confirmed cases amounted to 294, surpassing 200 for a third straight day.
The new cases on Saturday brought Japan’s cumulative total to 108,150, including around 700 from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February.
Source: Saudi Press Agency