Tokyo’s hospitals are struggling to provide routine care because of a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, officials warned on Thursday as new infections in the Japanese capital hit another record high.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
The city raised its alert level for availability of medical services to the top of a four-tier Covid-19 warning system for the first time since it was introduced.
Japan has so far avoided imposing strict lockdown measures and has seen a smaller outbreak than many other countries, with only around 187,000 infections and 2,700 deaths recorded overall.
But with cases on the rise, this week the prime minister urged citizens to reconsider holiday travel, and suspended a controversial domestic tourism campaign in an attempt to slow the spread of infection.
Tokyo logged 822 new cases on Thursday -- breaking its record for the second day running and marking a jump from around 600 per day in recent weeks.
“Providing both regular medical care and coronavirus care has become difficult because of the growing number of hospitalized patients,” Masataka Inokuchi, vice president of the Tokyo Medical Association, said.
Governor Yuriko Koike called on residents to “continue avoiding non-essential outings.”
Tokyo has two Covid-19 alert systems -- the other is for the level of contagion, which was raised to the maximum level last month.
Coronavirus: France's President Macron tests positive for COVID-19French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidency said on Thursday, adding he would now self-isolate for the next week ... Coronavirus
Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines? Not until there’s enough data from studies in different age groups, which will stretch well into next ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Vaccine to be made available in APAC by mid to late 2021, WHO saysThe World Health Organization said Thursday that countries in the Asia-Pacific region are not guaranteed to have early access to COVID-19 shots and ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: South Korea reports record deaths as lockdown fears spark panic buyingSouth Korea reported a record number of coronavirus deaths on Thursday as the country’s biggest wave of infections since the start of the pandemic ... Coronavirus
France could administer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the end of DecemberThe first doses of COVID-19 vaccines could be administered to people in France in the last week of December, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Pompeo quarantining after contact with COVID-positive personAmerica’s top diplomat Mike Pompeo was in quarantine Wednesday after being exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, the State ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Denmark to shut down completely during Christmas, New Year: PMDenmark will impose a hard lockdown over Christmas and the New Year to limit the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Turkey’s daily COVID-19 deaths hit record high: health ministryTurkey’s daily coronavirus death toll hit a record 240 in the last 24 hours, bringing the totalso far to 17,121, health ministry data showed on ... Coronavirus