Tokyo becomes the epicentre of COVID-19 pandemic with the total number of confirmed cases 3,000. The overall number in Japan also has tended to rise, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported on Monday morning.
The Japanese capital city counted 3,082 cases by Sunday, according to the Stars and Stripes. The number of deaths reached 71, according to Monday information. The daily cases reached 107 on Sunday, down from Saturday with 181 cases and Friday with a record-high of 201 cases.
Since April 7, Tokyo lives under a state of emergency as well as six other prefectures with a high risk of the novel virus. On Thursday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an extension the emergency nationwide to prevent movement of people across the prefectures and to achieve as much as 80% social distancing as Japan next week enters Golden Week, a series of national holidays.
Commenting on the restrictions, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike described the city as being “in a critical situation on the verge of an explosive increase of infection.”
The official also urged residents to stay home, especially over the weekends, and to work from home as much as possible. She also called on city residents to cut their night social life, citing the number of COVID-19 cases stemming from entertainment staff like hostess bars and night clubs.
According to Sunday news release issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan has counted 10,751 cases of coronavirus and 171 deaths. That is why it is too early to say about the relaxing restrictions.
The nationwide emergency declaration is in effect until May 6 but could be extended. It allows prefectural governors to urge people to stay home, close businesses and cancel events. Authorities, however, cannot penalize those who do not follow those guidelines.
Tokyo and the Kanagawa prefecture, the area south of Tokyo where Yokohoma and Yokosuka Naval Base are located, have called on schools, movie theaters, malls and night entertainment establishments to close after the declaration.
Meantime, both prefectures prefer to keep schools closed. Authorities in Tokyo and the Kanagawa prefecture have also urged restaurants and bars to operate only between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. and to stop serving alcohol at 7 p.m.