Japan reports record-high daily COVID-19 cases for 3rd straight day
Japan on Friday reported 2,414 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, renewing the daily infection record for a third consecutive day.
According to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities, Japan's total tally rose to 128,344, not including those connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo earlier in the year.
In the capital of Tokyo, the epicenter of the country's outbreak, 522 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, exceeding the 500-mark for a second consecutive day, bringing its cumulative total to 36,778, the highest among the country's 47 prefectures.
The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday raised its virus alert by one notch to the highest level, meaning "infections are spreading."
Meanwhile, Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido logged a record-high 304 new cases, topping 300 for the first time.
Currently, the national death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic stands at 1,976, with eight new fatalities announced Friday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The health ministry also said there are currently 291 patients considered severely ill with the use of ventilators or being held in intensive care units.
Amid the resurgence of infections in Japan, some doctors have requested the government to suspend the "Go To Travel" subsidy campaign which aims to revive domestic tourism.
However, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday suggested that he has no plans to scrap the campaign for now. "We have been reviewing the program by listening to the opinions of experts and businesses involved. We will continue to operate it appropriately," he said.