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Tokyo reportedly in the midst of fifth wave of COVID-19    

  • July 15, 2021
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

All national papers reported extensively on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s announcement yesterday that a total of 1,149 people tested positive for COVID-19, noting that this was the first time in almost two months for the number of daily cases to top 1,000. The figure exceeded the peak reached during the fourth wave in the spring, which was 1,121 on May 8. The seven-day rolling average of new cases in Tokyo as of yesterday was 823.3, up 30.3% from the preceding week. The occupancy rate of hospital beds for seriously ill patients had climbed to 43% as of July 12 even though the corresponding figure was below 30% in late June. Many of the patients requiring hospitalization are in their 50s. 


Infections are also rising in other parts of the country, including Osaka, with daily cases amounting to 3,194 nationwide on Wednesday. This was the first time in more than six weeks for the daily tally to exceed 3,000. A total of 349 people tested positive in Osaka, the highest level since May 27. A Health Ministry advisory board of public health professionals reportedly expressed deep concern yesterday that the “notable resurgence” in the Tokyo metropolitan area may trigger a rapid spread of the virus across Japan. The papers noted that many patients and virus carriers nowadays are in their 20s and 30s and are not vaccinated, adding that the epidemic curve in the fifth wave is rising faster than the previous waves probably due to the highly transmissible Delta strain.    

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