All national papers reported that a total of 356 people tested positive nationwide yesterday, including 224 in Tokyo and 31 in Osaka. Three out of four patients in the nation’s capital were in their 20s or 30s. The public health authorities have reportedly been unable to trace the transmission routes of 104 of the 224 new cases in Tokyo. Governor Koike reportedly attributed the spike to aggressive testing targeting workers at nightlife establishments, projecting that the daily caseload may increase further as testing capacity now exceeds 6,500 per day. A total of 69 new cases were also detected in Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa Prefectures.
The dailies noted that Tokyo officials are concerned that community transmission may be increasing rapidly, expressing concern that the steady rise in the number of cases indicates that the virus is spreading widely among Tokyoites.
According to the papers, the GOJ has no intention to reissue a state of emergency despite the surge in the number of cases on the grounds that nearly 80% of the patients are under 40 years old, few have serious symptoms, and hospital capacity is not overloaded. The GOJ plans to ease restrictions today on public events, including professional baseball and soccer games, to allow up to 5,000 people to attend. Prime Minister Abe told the press last night: “We are monitoring the situation closely. We will be further enhancing infection prevention measures in coordination with local governments by expanding testing capacity and strengthening public health center systems.”
However, many prefectural governors are reportedly alarmed by the apparent resurgence, with some of them calling for people in the Tokyo metropolitan area not to visit their regions. Some medical professionals are also wary of the GOJ’s apparent inclination to ease restrictions on gatherings at sports arenas and other large venues.