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Tokyo Governor Warns Infections Rising Quickly

Αssociated Press

People wearing protective face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk at a pedestrian crossing Friday, July 10, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the spread of infections in the Japanese capital has escalated to levels tantamount to “issuing an alarm,” and requested residents and business owners to step up preventive measures.

Koike specifically urged restaurants, shops and nightclub operators to fulfill safety measures and urged customers to stay away from places that don't comply with guidelines.

Koike also asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to revise the law to authorize local governors to penalize business owners who violate requested safety measures.

She appealed to residents to avoid non-essential out-of-town trips, and to the government to “think carefully” if it’s an appropriate timing to push Abe's unpopular tourism campaign.

Experts on the Tokyo task force said infections are no longer limited to younger generations linked to nightlife districts.

The number of serious cases is not rising rapidly but hospital beds are quickly filling up and more are needed. Tokyo has had 8,189 confirmed cases and 325 deaths.