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August worst for Japan virus cases, accounts for half of total

  • September 2, 2020
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 5:59 p.m.
  • English Press

With 32,161 cases in August, fresh COVID-19 infections nationwide hit a record for any month since January, a tally by The Asahi Shimbun shows. The figure was 1.8 times the number in July when there were 17,623 cases.


The data also showed that the figure for August represents nearly half of the accumulated total since January, when cases were first reported.


New cases are now slowly declining from early August, but 10 deaths or more from COVID-19 have been reported daily since then.


The data was compiled from reports by local authorities and other sources.


As of the end of August, accumulated total cases exceeded 68,000 nationwide.


Surges began in July and there were several days that saw more than 1,500 new cases between late July and early August.


The count in August was 2.6 times that of April, when a state of emergency was declared by the central government.


Outbreaks were first reported in large cities, but spread to local regions as well.


Although a national state of emergency was lifted in late May, Okinawa and Aichi prefectures issued their own states of emergency in late July due to new infections.


The Tokyo metropolitan government also made fresh calls on “izakaya” pubs and other venues to reduce operating hours to help contain the spread.


The number of people traveling outside their prefecture was smaller than usual during the second week of August, when the traditional Bon festival fell, due to growing calls for vigilance.


From Aug. 22 onward, new daily cases were below 1,000 across Japan, showing a downward trend.


But fatalities spiked in August.


There were 287 deaths in August, compared with 39 in July.


The increase was attributed to the transmission of the virus to more middle-aged or senior citizens, who are more prone to develop serious health conditions than other age groups.


Cases of death remain high, with 20 reported on Aug. 28.

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