TOKYO, July 2 – Tokyo confirmed 107 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, its highest daily tally in two months, but Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said there was no need to reintroduce a state of emergency.
The Japanese capital, with 14 million people, had initially sought to hold new daily cases at fewer than 20 after the government lifted the state of emergency on May 25, only to see its tally consistently exceed 50 over the past week.
Tokyo’s daily count last rose above 100 on May 2. On Wednesday, it confirmed 67 new cases.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said about 70% of cases on Thursday were among people in their 20s and 30s.
“It’s really unpleasant that it is increasing somewhat. I’d like to ask all Tokyo residents and everyone at businesses for their cooperation to prevent that,” she said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters he didn’t think there was a need for a fresh state of emergency.
“We’ll continue to pay attention to the infection situation in the area with a sense of urgency, and work to both prevent spreading of infection and support economic activity,” he said.
Officials have also said the medical system can handle existing infections and that increased testing partly explains the rise in confirmed cases.
Despite more cases in Tokyo, Japan, with about 19,000 cases and 976 deaths, has reported a lower overall rate of infection than many countries.
More than 10.7 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and over 515,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
This week, Tokyo said it would move away from numerical targets in favour of more reliance on expert advice to rein in the virus and avert more economic damage. (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Naomi Tajitsu and Daniel Leussink Editing by Robert Birsel, Shri Navaratnam and Nick Macfie)