Tokyo confirms 27 new COVID-19 infections amid cluster concerns in capital

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TOKYO, June 16 (Xinhua) — The Tokyo metropolitan government on Tuesday said that 27 new coronavirus cases were detected in the capital, with 10 of the infections connected to a virus-hit downtown entertainment area in the Shinjuku district.

Tuesday’s cases follow 48 infections confirmed in the capital the previous day, marking the biggest daily increase since May 5, and 40 new cases on Sunday, leading experts to reconsider how the capital deals with the virus amid a possible resurgence of infections.

On June 12, the majority of restrictions imposed on businesses in the capital were eased by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

With the lifting of its “Tokyo alert,” first issued on June 2 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases detected in the capital, restaurants and pubs were allowed to stay open for longer, and karaoke boxes, game centers and pachinko parlors were officially permitted to reopen for the first time since the virus-induced restrictions were imposed.

The government plans to lift more restrictions on social and economic activities this Friday, including those previously asking people to refrain from crossing prefectural borders.

The Tokyo metropolitan government, however, will hear from experts by the end of the month about new criteria it will need to use in the event it issues another emergency alert for the capital.

Following a meeting convened Monday, the experts are looking into new ways of preventing the further spread of the pneumonia-causing virus, including the possibility of focusing on specific areas where clusters have been recorded, rather than entire prefectures.

Of the 27 cases confirmed as of Tuesday evening, 11 are close contacts of people who have already been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, while the remaining 16 have no known route of infection, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.

The city has now confirmed a total of 5,619 cases of the virus, according to the latest figures. Enditem

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