Osaka governor sounds alarm as COVID-19 infections exceed Tokyo's

Japan Today -- Mar 31
A surge of COVID-19 cases in Osaka raises fears that the eastern Japanese metropolis, having emerged from a state of emergency a month ago, is entering a fresh wave of infections that could become the worst yet, its governor said on Wednesday.

Osaka prefecture reported 599 new cases, a jump from 432 on Tuesday and close to the all-time high of 654 on Jan. 8.

"I expect that the number of infections in Osaka will soon exceed the previous record," prefectural governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said in a televised briefing on Wednesday. "The mutant strains seem to be having an influence but it's difficult to say scientifically and objectively what the extent is."

Osaka and 10 other prefectures declared a state of emergency (SOE) in January amid Japan's third and most-deadly wave of infections to date. All but the four prefectures that make up greater Tokyo lifted the measures early in February as cases and the burden on hospitals subsided.

An earlier lifting of the state of emergency is the most likely "reason for the recent surge of cases in Osaka," Kyoto University professor Yuki Furuse said, stressing that he had not done a thorough investigation of the data yet.

Cases have also been trending higher in Tokyo, where 414 new infections were reported on Wednesday, which was still well below the peak of more than 2,000 per day. - Japan Today









 県はクラスターが発生したと認めました。 - ANNnewsCH