Japan on alert as COVID-19 cases rise

The Japanese government sees an increase in COVID-19 infections. On Monday, it confirmed more than 780 new cases, the first time since October that the daily count has exceeded 700.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 103 new cases that day – the first time the figure has exceeded 100 since October 8.

The spike prompted Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko to say, “A lot of people will be returning to work on Tuesday. And I hope they take all possible anti-infective measures.”

Many Japanese visit shrines to mark the New Year. In the past few days, 11 staff at one shrine in Tokyo have tested positive for the coronavirus. Authorities have suspended visits to the site.

Authorities in Okinawa are also seeing a spike. On Monday, the prefecture confirmed 130 new infections, marking the first time that this figure has exceeded 100 since September.

Many people take precautions before returning to work, including getting tested.

A woman in her 40s at a test center in Hiroshima said: “I came here because I thought I needed to take a test before I started working, so as not to cause any problems on my. workplace.”

A girl from the same institution said, “If the number of infections continues to rise, it will affect my club activities and my school life, so I’m a little worried.

Authorities in 28 prefectures have reported cases of the new Omicron variant.