COVID-19 Cases in Japan Continue Rising

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of new COVID-19 cases reported by about 5,000 designated hospitals across Japan in the week through May 21 averaged 3.56, up by 35% from the preceding week’s 2.63, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Friday.

“Since April, COVID-19 cases have continued rising,” a ministry official said.

The number of new cases reported by the hospitals in the week ended Sunday totaled 17,489, according to the ministry.

By prefecture, the number of new cases per hospital was highest in Okinawa, at 10.8, followed by Ishikawa, at 6.38, and Iwate, at 6.32. Shimane had the lowest figure, at 1.55.

The number of new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose by 726 to 3,215.

The ministry shifted from the previous system of counting all recognized cases to a fixed-point monitoring system on May 8, when the country downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk infectious disease category that includes seasonal flu.