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Tokyo records virus surge ahead of state of emergency decision

Tokyo, Jan. 5, (dpa/GNA) – Tokyo reported 1,278 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, surpassing the 1,000-case mark for the second time in six days, as the Japanese capital struggles to rein in a severe third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak comes a day after Tokyo and its three neighbouring prefectures decided to ask bars and restaurants to shorten their business hours in order to curb new infections.
Tokyo posted a record 1,337 new cases on New Year’s Eve, its highest-ever daily figure, despite the city’s Governor Yuriko Koike repeatedly urging its residents to stay at home.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a meeting of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party that he will make a decision on Thursday as to whether to declare another state of emergency for Tokyo and the three prefectures – Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.
Japan’s month-long state of emergency ended in mid-May in most of the country’s 47 prefectures. Several prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, had been under the measure for about six weeks.
Japan has so far escaped a coronavirus outbreak on the scale seen in Europe and the United States, with a total of nearly 248,000 known infections and about 3,650 Covid-19-related deaths.