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Tokyo Daily COVID Cases Reach Record High

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported a record daily high of 1,591 new cases of coronavirus infections on January 6, 2021.

Officials in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures are set to ask residents to stay home after 8 p.m. and restaurants to close by this time starting January 7.

With hospital beds in Tokyo at an occupancy rate of around 86 percent, officials are worried that the medical system may soon collapse. The Japanese health ministry’s coronavirus advisory board noted that a quarter of the nationwide total of new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the past week was in Tokyo.

Combined cases in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures made up half of the total. The board said the number of coronavirus disease patients waiting for a hospital bed in Tokyo was around 1,000 during a week in the middle of December. The figure tripled in the last week of that month.

Experts are repeating their calls on people to avoid holding New Year parties and to do their grocery shopping when stores are relatively less crowded.