Japan’s Covid-19 cases go past 200,000, deaths near 3,000 mark

Tokyo, Dec 21 (efe-epa).- Japan on Monday crossed the grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 cases, including 2,930 deaths, with the pandemic surging since the caseload touched 100,000 less than two months ago.

The data, anticipated by state broadcaster NHK hours before the health ministry officially confirmed the figures, showed that on Monday the total number of people infected by the new coronavirus in Japan stood at 200,001.

The number includes 712 infections reported on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which had docked at the Yokohama port in February with more than 3,000 people onboard.

Japan, which has a population of around 126 million, registered its first Covid-19 case on Jan. 16, when the infection was found in a Chinese citizen living in Japan who had visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected.

The Tokyo region is the worst-affected part of the country, with over 51,000 infections reported so far, followed by the western Osaka prefecture, which has registered around 27,000 cases.

The Japanese capital recorded its highest daily number of cases last week with over 800 infections per day, although on Monday the number of fresh cases stood at 392.

Since mid-November Japan has witnessed a third wave of infections with the daily caseload hovering above 2,000.

This has led to the country going past the 200,000 cases mark in less than two months after the case count touched 100,000 in late October, 10 months after the virus first entered Japan.

The government of Japan had declared a state health emergency on Apr. 7, which continued until May 25, during the first wave of infections in the country.

The measure included restrictions on opening of businesses, restaurants, bars, and public parks, as well as suspension of public events.

The third wave has resulted in the authorities of the worst affected prefectures reducing the opening hours of establishments such as bars and restaurants and temporarily canceling a subsidization program for domestic tourism, among other measures. EFE-EPA


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