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.