Tokyo, March 12 (Jiji Press)–The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to enhance its system to screen cases of infection with mutant strains of the novel coronavirus, it was learned Friday.
At the day’s COVID-19 monitoring meeting of the metropolitan government, experts warned of the possibility of coronavirus variants, which are said to be more contagious than the original virus, causing a rapid spread of infections in the Japanese capital again. One of them said that “the number of new cases (in Tokyo) seems to have stopped decreasing.”
Currently, the metropolitan government’s system is capable of screening about 10 pct of all coronavirus positive cases to see whether there are variant cases. Since December last year, over 2,700 cases have been examined under the system.
A plan to enhance the system to raise the cumulative number of such examinations to 4,000 by April in cooperation with private-sector institutions was reported at the meeting.
The seven-day average of newly confirmed infection cases in Tokyo has stayed at between around 250 and 280 since the beginning of March, with the figure standing at 273.6 as of Friday. A total of 24 cases of infection with coronavirus variants have been reported.
Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has been on a decline, coming to 1,301 as of Thursday.
The metropolitan government aims to reduce the number to 1,250, a level representing the infection situation of Stage 2, the second lowest on Japan’s four-tier scale for gauging the degree of the spread of the virus.