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Japan reports 3,030 new COVID-19 cases

Japan reports 3,030 new COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask walks past other visitors maintaining social distance on benches at a park in Tokyo, on Dec 4, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

TOKYO: Japan’s daily coronavirus cases have exceeded 3,000 for the first time while the government delays stricter measures for fear of hurting the economy ahead of the holiday season.

The 3,030 new cases, including 621 in Tokyo, took Japan’s national tally to 177,287 with 2,562 deaths, the Health Ministry said Sunday (Dec 13).

Experts say serious cases are on the rise around the country, putting burden on hospitals and affecting the daily medical treatment for other patients. 

They urged authorities to take measures such as suspending out-of-town trips and requesting stores to close early.

READ: Japan urges a 'quiet' year-end, but to keep up tourism campaign

READ: COVID-19: Tokyo governor to call for restraint in travel during upcoming holidays

Recent media surveys show support ratings for the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have dropped about 20 points from around 70 per cent during his first three months in office amid public discontent over his coronavirus handling.

Japan issued a non-binding state of emergency in the spring and has survived earlier infection peaks without a lockdown. Experts say the ongoing resurgence in the dry and cold season would be a bigger challenge.

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Source: AP/ga

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