Serious coronavirus patients hit record in Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says the number of patients in serious condition in the capital has risen to 297, marking a new high for the second straight day.

The number of seriously ill patients around the country is also rising. The figure reached a new high of 2,000 on Friday. But 60 more people were listed as being in serious condition on Saturday, marking a new high for the 16th consecutive day.

A doctor in Tokyo points out that more people have been developing serious symptoms and dying in the past few weeks.

Morioka Shinichiro of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine said, "About one in three of the hospitalized patients are seriously ill. People in their 20s to 40s are needing supplemental oxygen or ventilation. Relatively young patients are dying."

Meanwhile, tourist destinations have seen a plunge in the number of visitors in prefectures where emergency measures took effect on Friday.

An iconic shrine in Mie Prefecture would normally be crowded at this time of year. Instead, nearby souvenir shops and restaurants have closed.

A popular beach at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture has been roped off, and no one is around. A nearby parking lot is closed.

An official from the local community association says the lake waters are clear and there's still time before the swimming season ends. But he adds he unfortunately has to stop people from getting in the water.