By Maria Roldan
Tokyo, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Japan’s attempts to resume normalcy following the first Covid-19 wave suffered a major setback with 224 infections reported on Thursday, a record daily total for Japan’s capital.
Thursday’s figures surpassed the previous high of 206 cases reported on 17 April when Japan was under a state of emergency due to the spread of the virus.
The number of daily cases in the capital had dropped to double digits a day earlier, with 75 new infections, following six consecutive days of more than 100 cases.
Since 2 July, Tokyo has recorded 980 coronavirus cases.
The spike in the number of infections in Tokyo comes amid an easing of restrictions in Japan since the state of emergency was in place between 7 April and 25 May.
From Friday, authorities will allow sports and cultural events to take place at half the capacity in the stands. A maximum of 5,000 people will be allowed to enter stadiums and large venues.
The professional baseball league will allow entry of fans to the stadiums, while the professional soccer J-League will do the same for first division matches scheduled for Saturday.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who reported the figure in a meeting on the management of the health crisis, said that the increase in the number of infections was the result of a Covid-19 testing drive and added that the capital’s healthcare system was sufficiently equipped to manage the outbreak, according to public broadcaster NHK.
The collapse of the healthcare system is of particular concern for Japan in Tokyo, where the majority of the cases have been reported.
The metropolis, with a population of some 14 million, has reported 7,300 Covid-19 cases so far, more than one-third of infections recorded across the country.
The total number of infections in Japan stood at 20,371 by Tuesday.
The spike in the number of cases since late June has led to a rise in the number of hospital admissions, which had remained stable since a sharp decline recorded in May.
By Tuesday, 444 people had been hospitalized in Tokyo and six were in a serious condition, according to the recent data released by the government.
The number of active Covid-19 cases in Tokyo stands a little over a 1,000 and around half of them were recovering in their homes, hotels and other spaces set up to care for mild cases.
Koike recently said that the city had the necessary resources to face the rising number of infections and that 3,000 beds will be set up to deal with the cluster.
Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said that the number of infections was higher among those in their 30s and that there was a lower tally of serious cases.
Cases related to nightlife businesses have recently risen, according to officials cited by Kyodo news.
The report added that Governor Koike on Tuesday said the capital will lend financial aid to nightclubs and other facilities in Ikebukuro, a major commercial and entertainment district in
Tokyo where many cases have been recorded if they are forced to suspend operations again as a result of the outbreak.