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People's Daily Online

Japanese PM says "maximum caution" needed as COVID-19 cases spike

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:04, July 15, 2022

TOKYO, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that "maximum caution" is necessary amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan.

The prime minister's remarks were made as the government confirmed 97,788 new infections nationwide on Thursday.

The government's COVID-19 panel of experts warned Thursday that the nation's capital may see an explosive increase in infections that has never been experienced before.

They said if the pace of transmission continues at the current rate, the daily tally will exceed 23,000 after a week, surpassing the peak of the sixth wave. The number could top the 53,000-mark after two weeks, they said.

Tokyo reported 16,662 new cases on Thursday.

They raised Tokyo's COVID-19 alert level to the highest on the four-tier system. It's the first time since April that the alert level has been raised to the highest level.

Kishida said the government will accelerate the vaccination drive, with about 8 million health care and nursing care workers targeted for fourth shots.

The experts, meanwhile, said that it is vitally important for younger people to receive a third dose of vaccine.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Thursday that the occupancy rate of hospital beds has been rising.

A total of more than 10 million people have been confirmed infected with COVID-19 in Japan since the outbreak of the pandemic and a total of 31,547 people have died from the virus, according to official figures Thursday.

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