By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

On December 22, 2020, the 19th meeting of the COVID-19 advisory board of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare met to look at the latest infection trends in Japan.

Image by Sofia Terzoni from Pixabay

At that time, the advisory board said concerning Tokyo: The number of new infections in Japan continues to increase, reaching a record high level. It maintains an upward trend in the Tokyo metropolitan area (mainly in Tokyo), and no obvious decrease is seen in the Kansai and Chubu areas. 

The number of new infections in Tokyo continues to increase, exceeding 30 per 100,000 persons in the last week. The medical care provision system also continues to be in a very tough situation. It is becoming difficult to accept severe patients. There is a growing need to divert the beds for usual care in order to secure beds for patients with coronavirus disease. Effective efforts are required to suppress infections. While the route of infection is unknown in many cases, the spread of infection via gathering to drink and eat is anticipated. The number of new infections also increases in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba throughout the metropolitan area, making the medical care provision system be in a severe situation.

In Tokyo, the effective reproduction number was below 1 temporarily in late November. But it turned to be 1 or more after that, and the same level continues. Despite a request for shortened opening hours, no decrease in the flow of people has been seen.

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Then came December 30, 2020 when Tokyo saw the highest number of cases during the pandemic with 1337–the first time ever eclipsing the 1000 case/day mark.

This prompted Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono, Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa and Chiba Gov. Kensaku Morita issued the request to Yasutoshi Nishimura, the government’s coronavirus point man, to declare a state of emergency to combat the surging coronavirus.

“We agreed that we are in a severe situation that warrants us considering the declaration of a state of emergency,.” Nishimura said, adding that the government needs to consult with its coronavirus expert panel before making a decision.

Since the record high day last week, Tokyo has seen cases decrease with 783 new cases on Dec. 31 and 814 on Jan. 1.

In total, Tokyo has reported 61,774 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including 631 deaths.

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