Japan logs more than 10 million cases of COVID-19 — 80% since January

Coutesy of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus is seen in an electron micrograph.

About 10.02 million people in Japan have been infected with the novel coronavirus since the country’s first case was confirmed in January 2020, according to a tally compiled Thursday by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The rate of increase continues to rise rapidly, driven by the virus’s highly contagious omicron strain: More than 8 million cases have occurred since January alone, during the sixth and the seventh waves of the pandemic.

More than 2 million people had been infected as of Jan. 20, with case numbers rising to around 5 million by Feb. 28. Thereafter, the rate of increase slowed for a while, but began to climb again in July due to the spread of the potent BA.5 omicron variant.

By prefecture, Tokyo has registered about 1.71 million cases, Osaka Prefecture about 1.08 million and Kanagawa Prefecture about 0.83 million.

Some 97,788 new cases were confirmed Thursday, with 16,662 occurring in Tokyo, 216 fewer than the previous day, but twice as many as the same day a week before and marking the 27th consecutive day of week-on-week increases.

A record number of new cases were observed on the day in nine prefectures — Aomori, Shizuoka, Mie, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Okinawa.