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Japan goes on maximum alert as COVID-19 cases soar, 2,363 new coronavirus cases reported today
November 19, 2020 at 7:21 PM PHT (GMT +8)
Japan's daily coronavirus cases on Thursday breached the 2000-mark as the country reported 2,363 new COVID-19 cases nationwide prompting the Japanese government to declare a nationwide maximum alert effective Friday. 534 of these came from Tokyo which considered this number as the highest since the pandemic began.
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Japan's Tokyo skyscraper view, WIX Media
The new hailed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in a press conference told the media that Japan is now on a "maximum alert" and urged the people to exercise full-blast measures to prevent infections. He told that people should observe ample time to eat and drink and wear face masks even inside restaurants, and limit gatherings to a maximum of four to reduce the chances of infections.
The minister in charge of the government's coronavirus response Yasutoshi Nishimura, and health minister Norihisa Tamura were instructed by the Prime Minister to implement stricter measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
In Tokyo, where the daily COVID-19 cases breached the 500-mark for the first time since March, raised its alert level back to the highest at Level 4 where it means that people are warned that infections are "spreading." It was last September 10 when Tokyo was place in the Level 4 status.
There has also been a rapid rise of cluster infections outside urban areas, such as in Hokkaido which reported 267 cases Thursday. In other prefectures, Osaka reported 338 cases, Aichi (219), Kanagawa (205), Hyogo (132), Chiba (106), Saitama (98), Shizuoka (61) and Okinawa (54).
Fourteen coronavirus-related deaths were reported.