Tokyo confirmed 8,503 new cases of coronavirus infection Monday, more than double the total logged a week before at 3,719.
The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s criteria declined by one from Sunday to 12. One death was reported among those infected.
Kanagawa Precture confirmed 5,276 cases, Saitama Prefecture posted 3,181 cases and Chiba Prefecture reported 2,760 cases, all record highs.
Osaka Prefecture, which posted 4,803 infections, issued a “red alert” — the most serious level on the prefecture’s risk scale — as the occupancy rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients topped 50%.
The government is expected to place 18 more prefectures under a COVID-19 quasi-emergency, people familiar with the matter said Monday.
The 18 are Hokkaido, Aomori, Yamagata, Fukushima, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Nagano, Shizuoka, Ishikawa, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Okayama, Shimane, Fukuoka, Oita, Saga and Kagoshima.
The government is considering putting the prefectures under the pre-emergency state for around three weeks.
After the expected designation, 34 prefectures, or some 70% of the country’s 47 prefectures, will be under a quasi-emergency.
Japan confirmed 295,270 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, an over twofold increase from the preceding week’s 118,317, amid the spread of the omicron variant.
The country’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 2,181,000 as of 10 a.m. Monday.
Japan’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 78 from a week earlier to 18,522. The weekly toll has been on an upward trend after staying below 10 in December.
The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients nationwide totaled 439 as of Monday, up from 261 a week before.
By prefecture, Tokyo had the largest weekly number of new COVID-19 cases, at 55,313, followed by Osaka, at 39,823, and Kanagawa, at 20,091.
Weekly new cases in Okinawa, which has been placed under a state of COVID-19 pre-emergency since Jan. 9, fell to 8,220 from 9,666 a week before. The Tokyo metropolitan area has been in the pre-emergency stage since Friday.
The daily count of new coronavirus infection cases in Japan stood at 50,023 on Sunday, standing above 50,000 for the second straight day.
The total almost doubled from a week earlier, when 25,640 cases were reported.
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