Asahi and Yomiuri wrote that as more than three weeks have elapsed since Prime Minister Abe declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak on April 7, the epidemic curve appears to have begun to flatten. The number of new cases has been declining overall for the past two weeks, especially in Tokyo, Osaka, and other urban prefectures. The papers wrote that an “explosive spike” in infections does not appear to have occurred. A total of 189 people tested positive for the virus yesterday across the nation, including 46 in Tokyo.
The papers pointed out, however, that some prefectures, such as Hokkaido, Ishikawa, and Toyama, have witnessed a surge in the number of new cases, pointing out that numerous “cluster infections” at hospitals and elderly care facilities have been reported there. A record high of 27 people tested positive for the disease in Sapporo yesterday, and 14 additional cases were reported in other parts of Hokkaido. The dailies added that the northernmost prefecture is currently experiencing a “second wave,” noting that although it successfully weathered a first wave in late March as a result of the swift implementation of its own state of emergency, new cases have been surging there partly because of people’s increased travel to the region from Tokyo, Osaka, and other metropolitan areas in early April.