On the heels of the Tokyo summer Olympics being pushed back to 2021, Japan’s capital on Thursday reported an unprecedented number of new coronavirus cases, local media reported.
Tokyo reported 47 cases of the infection, also known as COVID-19, the biggest number in a single day, Kyodo news reported.
A day before, Tokyo registered 41 cases, triggering concern that the virus is rampant in the country, a government panel found.
Residents of the Japanese capital have been asked to stay home over the weekend.
Japan has confirmed 1,307 cases of COVID-19, out of which 45 have died while 310 have recovered.
Japan’s parliament recently empowered Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with more powers to declare a state of emergency to combat the deadly disease.
The panel report enabled the government to launch a national headquarters to give Abe the power to declare an emergency if needed.
Yesterday, Japan and the International Olympic Committee decided to postpone the Tokyo games for a year.
Separately, Foreign Ministry officials said today that hundreds of Japanese citizens are stranded abroad due to travel restrictions to stem the virus’ spread.
Japan is asking arrivals from Southeast Asia and Middle East to self-quarantine for at least two weeks.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 487,000 while the death toll has crossed 22,000 and nearly 118,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.
Italy, China, Iran, and Spain continue to be the countries hardest hit.
Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.