TOKYO: Tokyo officials confirmed 206 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, public broadcaster NHK reported, as Japan’s capital struggles with a resurgence in cases after the government lifted a state of emergency.
The total marks the fourth straight day of more than 200 cases.
The capital city hit a record high of 243 new cases on Friday, with infections surging particularly in Tokyo’s Kabukicho red-light district.
The country’s economy minister said Japanese host and hostess clubs must act quickly to ensure they abide by rules to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus after nightlife districts also became new hotspots.
Infections in the capital have been creeping up since the government lifted a state of emergency about a month ago.
Outbreaks have also been found in similar clubs in Ikebukuro’s red-light district, as well as in some cafes where women dress up as maids to entertain customers in the Akihabara electronics town.
Japan has more than 21,000 cases and 980 deaths. Researchers have cited various factors for those low numbers, from the nation’s robust healthcare system to infrequent hugging and handshaking. But they say there is no clear single reason for the country’s success.
Norio Sugaya, a member of the World Health Organization’s influenza panel, said people in Japan should not feel secure just because of the relatively small scale of infections and deaths there so far.
“Talks about how Japan has ridden out the first wave successfully. Talks about ‘Japan miracle’. Those make me very worried,” Sugaya said. “It’s terrifying if there are people out there who believe Japan is invincible.”