According to all national papers, a record high of over 79,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday across Japan, including 16,538 in Tokyo. In addition to the nation’s capital, 26 other prefectures reported record-high numbers of cases yesterday. The national tally of cumulative daily cases this month amounted to 704,600, more than 100 times higher than in December. Hospital bed occupancy rates are also reportedly rising steadily, with over 44% of the beds for COVID patients currently in use in Tokyo. As more than 50,000 Tokyoites are currently recuperating at home, the metropolitan government has reportedly decided to scale back the public authorities’ monitoring of the health conditions of such patients to cover only those aged 50 or older and those with underlying conditions due to the rapid depletion of medical resources.