Tokyo considering response to virus spike

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering its response to the recent rapid spread of the coronavirus in the Japanese capital. The measures may include a request for the central government to declare a state of emergency.

Tokyo reported a record 1,337 new cases on Thursday, with the daily tally exceeding 1,000 for the first time. The figure surpasses the previous high by nearly 400.

The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in Tokyo has now topped 60,000.

The total passed the 50,000 mark on December 18, and increased by 10,000 in a little less than two weeks.

The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in Tokyo hit a record high on Thursday. The number of people with serious symptoms has also reached a new high since a national state of emergency was lifted in May.

Experts have warned that a rise in these figures will put medical institutions under further strain.

Tokyo officials had repeatedly called on people to refrain from drinking parties and nonessential outings, and instead have a quiet holiday at home. But the advice appears to have been ineffective.