Tokyo's new COVID-19 cases surge to 224, highest level since virus outbreak

The number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Tokyo on Thursday (July 9) surged to a record high of 224, the highest since the outbreak of the virus hit the capital, officials said.

Illustrative Image. (Source: Reuters)
Illustrative Image. (Source: Reuters)

The number eclipses the previous record of 206 cases confirmed in Tokyo, a city of 14 million, on April 17.

The capital has continued to grapple with a resurgence of cases since the government's emergency declaration over the virus was completely lifted on May 25.

Tokyo's ongoing virus resurgence has seen many of those testing positive for the pneumonia-causing virus being younger people in their 20s and 30s, Tokyo metropolitan government officials said.

Disproportionately high numbers of cases have also been found to be connected to downtown nighttime entertainment districts in Tokyo, the metropolitan government has highlighted.

Local officials have voiced concerns about the rising possibility of the virus being passed on from younger carriers infected in downtown areas to the elderly, who will likely suffer more severe symptoms that will require hospitalization and could once again put a heavy strain on medical facilities in Tokyo and beyond.

As well as urging those patronizing such nighttime districts to ensure that necessary virus prevention measures are being taken inside the establishments, the Tokyo metropolitan government has also asked residents to refrain from making unnecessary trips across prefectural borders.

The government, however, said that reissuing a state of emergency in the capital, or reissuing tighter restrictions on people's movements and business operations is not being considered at this juncture.