TOKYO (Reuters) – Some 143 more cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Tokyo, the city’s governor said on Sunday, with the highest daily jump bringing the number of cases in the Japanese capital to more than 1,000.
Tokyo’s metropolitan government has strongly urged people to stay at home as the city of nearly 14 million has seen an uptick in the number of cases in recent days.
The number of cases with untraceable transmission routes had increased in recent days, Governor Yuriko Koike said in a livecast YouTube video on Sunday, adding it was worrying that there were a number of people who were infected at hospitals.
The majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend in Tokyo were of people under the age of 50, a member of Japan’s health ministry taskforce for the virus said in the same livecast Sunday night, adding that many of them were in their 20s and 30s.
Tokyo’s metropolitan government has repeatedly called on residents in the densely populated city to avoid all unnecessary outings. Koike said in an earlier TV appearance that “lives were at stake”.
Global cases of the new coronavirus have shot past 1 million with more than 64,000 deaths. Japan, with some 3,000 cases and 73 deaths as of Friday, has so far been spared the kind of explosive surge seen in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.
With the increase in cases in Tokyo, there have been growing calls from Tokyo’s governor and groups representing medical professionals for the central government to call for a “state of emergency”. Unlike in some countries, that would give the government limited enforcement power.
(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Frances Kerry)