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Coronavirus

Tokyo COVID Cases Hit Record Amid Government Criticism

December 12, 2020

TOKYO — Tokyo reported 621 new coronavirus cases Saturday, setting a new record in the capital where a lack of government measures triggered concerns about a surge during the holiday season.

Nationwide, Japan reported a total of 174,000 cases, with about 2,500 deaths since the pandemic began.

Experts on a Tokyo metropolitan task force say serious cases are on the rise, putting burdens on hospitals and forcing many of them to scale back on care for other patients.

Japan issued a non-binding state of emergency in the spring and has survived earlier infection peaks without a lockdown.

The coronavirus task force on Friday asked the national government to take tougher steps to slow social and economic activities, such as suspension of out-of-town trips and requesting shorter business hours in areas where infections are accelerating.

Latest data shows ongoing measures have been ineffective and the situation could worsen during the holiday season.

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