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Homeland Security

Tokyo Lowers COVID-19 Alert Level as Infections Drop

By VOA News September 10, 2020

Tokyo lowered its COVID-19 alert status to the second highest level Thursday, as the number of new cases continues to drop.

The government announced it will loosen restrictions on nighttime activity.

Japan's capital city raised its alert to "red" in July, as infections surged. New infection rates hit 300 to 400 cases a day, peaking at 472 daily cases on Aug. 1.

About 276 new cases were reported on Thursday. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said at a news conference that the city government would lift a measure that shortened hours for restaurants and karaoke bars beginning next week.

Koike urged citizens to continue washing their hands and practicing other preventive measures, as another surge in cases is possible.

At the national level, the Japanese government will consider adding Tokyo to its "Go to Travel" subsidized domestic tourism campaign, following its exclusion for being a coronavirus hot spot. The campaign was criticized for potentially facilitating the spread of the virus.

As of Thursday morning, Tokyo has confirmed a total of 22,454 coronavirus infections and 379 deaths. Japan has a confirmed total of 73,957 cases and 1,416 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

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