Japan’s daily COVID-19 patient count surpassed 3,000 on Wednesday, the highest number of infections since Jan. 30.
The capital Tokyo remained the hardest hit, with 555 new coronavirus cases, the most since Feb. 6 when it reported 639 new cases. Its cumulative total stands at 123,905.
Meanwhile, after logging a record 878 COVID-19 cases, Osaka imposed a medical state of emergency due to “increased strain” on its health care system, the regional governor said.
This is the second time since last December that Osaka has had to declare an emergency, as the hospital bed occupancy rate in the western province for those in critical condition nears 70%.
“We ask each resident to follow anti-virus measures and refrain from nonessential outings,” Kyodo News quoted Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura as saying in a news conference.
He also banned a relay of the Tokyo Olympic torch from running on public roads. It was scheduled to pass through the prefecture on April 13 and 14.
Japan has so far registered 492,856 cases, and 9,278 related deaths. It began its vaccination drive in February and has so far administered at least 1.29 million doses.