Yamagata and Ehime log record coronavirus cases as new wave feared

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The northeastern and western prefectures of Yamagata and Ehime, respectively, logged record numbers of new coronavirus cases on Thursday, as Japan sees emerging signs of another resurgence in infections.

The nationwide number of newly confirmed cases came to 1,917, topping 1,000 for the third consecutive day.

Meanwhile, 27 new deaths were reported among infected people across the country, including seven each in Tokyo and nearby Chiba Prefecture.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that further vigilance is needed against a resurgence as new infections are increasing in Tokyo and some other areas.

In Yamagata, 49 new cases were confirmed. The prefecture’s daily tally has been above 10 since March 18.

In Miyagi Prefecture, east of Yamagata, the daily number of new cases came to 161, its second-highest figure, standing above 100 for three days in a row.

During a Diet committee meeting on Thursday, Shigeru Omi, head of a key government panel, called for implementing stronger countermeasures in Miyagi, where infections are soaring. The prefecture recorded a record high 171 new cases on Wednesday.

In Ehime, 59 people were found positive for the coronavirus. Gov. Tokihiro Nakamura told a press conference that the prefecture “has entered a fourth wave” of infections. “It’s a critical situation,” he said.

In Osaka Prefecture, the daily count of new cases came to 266 on Thursday, having jumped to 262 a day earlier, which took the figure above 200 for the first time since Feb. 5.

Tokyo reported 394 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a day after the capital logged its highest daily figure this month.

The capital confirmed 420 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing 400 for only the second time in March.

Among Thursday’s new cases in Tokyo, 90 were detected in people in their 20s, while 57 people were in their 40s and 55 were in their 50s. Those age 65 or older totaled 99 cases, the largest age group among those infected.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from a day before to 41.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 118,855. The results came after 11,167 tests were conducted Monday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

Japan logged 1,918 new cases as well as 21 deaths linked to the virus, including six in Tokyo, on Wednesday.

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