Japan finds 84,937 new coronavirus cases

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of newly confirmed novel coronavirus infection cases came to 84,937 in Japan on Saturday, with the daily count hitting a record high for the fifth straight day and topping 80,000 for two days in a row.

Coronavirus patients in serious condition numbered 734, up by 37 from Friday, while 39 new COVID-19 deaths were reported.

Sixteen of the country’s 47 prefectures logged record daily infection cases. Of them, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, saw 3,002 cases, Kanagawa, south of Tokyo, 8,699 cases, Aichi in central Japan 5,613 cases, Osaka in western Japan 10,383 cases and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan 4,949 cases.

In the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, new cases totaled 979, down nearly 50% from a record high of 1,829 marked two weeks before.

In Tokyo, 17,433 people newly tested positive for the virus on Saturday, up by 6,206 from a week earlier and the second-highest level on record. The Japanese capital’s daily cases stood above 10,000 for the fifth successive day.

The occupancy rate for hospital beds for coronavirus patients in Tokyo rose to 48 pct, nearing the 50% threshold for the Tokyo metropolitan government to request the Japanese government to declare a state of emergency.

The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under the metropolitan government’s criteria climbed by two from Friday to 22.

The Kanagawa prefectural government has introduced a system in which residents who show positive results through the use of antigen test kits and have no or mild symptoms are allowed to self-isolate by skipping detailed tests at medical institutions.

By Saturday, 269 people reported their infections under the system.