All national dailies wrote that the GOJ’s subcommittee on the new coronavirus proposed on Thursday a set of measures that people should take over the next two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Japan by avoiding situations where infection risk is high in light of the recent spike in new cases and the growing number of seriously ill patients. The panel stressed that it is necessary to reduce the number of people out and about in Tokyo by 50% from the levels marked in early July just before the current coronavirus state of emergency began on July 12. As specific measures, the panel called for reducing the number of people visiting shopping malls and shops in department basements, increasing teleworking, and avoiding travel beyond prefectural borders. The proposals also include a call for the support of medical institutions and practitioners that have not been involved in the response to the new coronavirus to date. Subcommittee chair Omi said at a news conference on Thursday: “We will no longer be able to save lives that could have been saved. That is already starting to happen.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases nationwide totaled over 18,800 on Thursday, topping the previous record of 15,812 reported a day earlier to hit a new high for the second consecutive day. Tokyo reported 4,989 new cases on Thursday, the second-highest figure after the 5,042 cases logged a week ago. The number of seriously ill patients also hit a record high of 218, up 21 from Wednesday and topping 200 for the first time.
Experts monitoring the COVID-19 situation said at a Tokyo Metropolitan Government meeting on Thursday that the current situation in the capital is “a disaster-level emergency that is out of control.”