Tokyo’s daily COVID-19 cases surged to a record 1,337 Thursday, the metropolitan government said, as the nationwide tally eclipsed 4,000 for the first time.
The nationwide figure was at 4,515 as of 7 p.m. Thursday, public broadcaster NHK reported, with single-day records set in Fukuoka, Saitama and Chiba prefectures.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has warned that holiday shopping is apparently leading to bigger crowds, and repeated her plea for residents to stay home during the holidays.
“I want to emphasis again that there is no New Year holidays for the coronavirus,” Koike said Thursday. “I urge people to spend quiet holidays staying at home with families.”
The number of infections in Tokyo in December has now exceeded 19,200, nearly double the cases confirmed in November and reflecting the rapid pace of resurgence in the city.
“We are in a very severe and crucial phase,” Koike said at a news conference on a day earlier. “It is no surprise that an explosion of infections could occur at any time.”