Japan's COVID-19 cases have been climbing in July after the country lifted countermeasures in May. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
July 29 (UPI) -- Japan shattered its daily record for coronavirus infections, reporting more than 1,000 cases as the country relaxed restrictions on travel amid a four-day weekend.
Japan's confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached a total of 33,959, including the patients who were on board The Diamond Princess in Yokohama in February, NHK reported Wednesday.
The 1,002 new cases confirmed as of 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday include infections in Tokyo. The Japanese capital reported 250 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a day after reporting about 200 cases, according to the report. Patients include a member of Tokyo's Metropolitan Assembly.
In Osaka, Japan's second-largest city, authorities say they have confirmed 220 new cases of the coronavirus, breaking the city's record for infections. In Aichi Prefecture, a region that is home to the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corp., 167 new patients were confirmed, another record for Japan.
Japan's COVID-19 outbreak stabilized after the country declared a state of emergency on April 11, the same day the country confirmed 720 cases, a record at the time. The COVID-19 countermeasures were lifted in May after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country was on a steady path toward ending the coronavirus epidemic.
As new cases soared in major cities in July, the Abe administration has not ordered the return of the restrictions.
The government has instead encouraged the public to travel during the holidays or take a "workation," a vacation that combines business and leisure that can also boost domestic tourism amid the global pandemic.
Japan's test results for COVID-19 take about three days to be confirmed, the Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday.
Hospitalization for COVID-19 patients has also increased more than four-fold in Tokyo in July, according to the report.