Japan’s western prefecture of Osaka will record around 6,000 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the Kyodo news agency said, far surpassing the previous all-time high of 3,760 set over the weekend.
The number of new cases in the capital Tokyo is also approaching records, in a resurgence fueled by the highly infectious Omicron variant that has pushed Japan’s new cases close to records, with more than 25,000 in recent times. days.
The governors of Tokyo and surrounding prefectures agreed this week to ask the central government for measures to combat the infection, such as shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants.
Ten prefectures have made such requests, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Tuesday. An official decision on the quasi-emergency measures, as they are called, is likely to be made on Friday.
That would follow this month’s restrictions on three regions hosting US military installations, after Omicron’s base outbreaks appeared to spill into surrounding communities.
The occupancy rate of hospital beds in Tokyo for COVID-19 patients rose to 21.1 percent on Monday, crossing a key threshold for additional pandemic measures. An increase to 50 percent would justify declaring a full state of emergency.