All national dailies reported on an announcement made by the Tokyo metropolitan government (TMG) that a total of 97 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday, marking a daily high and bringing the total number of infections to 684 in the nation’s capital, increasing by 260% from a week ago. Some 70% of those detected yesterday were people under 60 years of age, and the routes of infection for one-third of the cases are unknown.
As almost 280 cases were confirmed nationwide on Thursday, including 33 in Osaka and 25 in Kanagawa, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Japan amounted to 2,757, excluding those on the Diamond Princess. According to the dailies, “cluster infections” have occurred in 26 locations across Japan, including at a major hospital in Tokyo and a facility for people with disabilities in Chiba.
Meanwhile, Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Nikkei wrote that the TMG has decided to allow asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms to stay at home or at the hotels and other lodging facilities it plans to rent so that designated hospitals can accommodate patients in serious condition. The TMG has reportedly been negotiating with hotel operators with the goal of securing as many as 1,000 rooms in preparation for a continued surge in the number of COVID-19 patients. As of yesterday, almost 90% of the approximately 700 beds at designated hospitals in Tokyo were occupied.
According to Asahi, the Osaka prefectural government is also preparing to secure hotel rooms to accommodate COVID-19 patients in light of a steady, rapid increase in confirmed cases in the region.