A woman wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks under blooming cherry blossoms in a snow fall during the first weekend after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged Tokyo residents to stay indoors in a bid to keep the coronavirus disease from spreading, in Tokyo, Japan March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo has confirmed 68 new coronavirus cases, a record daily increase, public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday, as the Japanese capital scrambles to prevent a jump in infections.
Japan has so far been spared a major spreading of the coronavirus that has hit Europe and North America, but authorities fear a rise in cases with no known source of infection could signal a bigger new wave.
The outbreak has infected more than 1,800 people in Japan, with 55 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, excluding 712 cases and 10 deaths from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month, NHK said.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has asked the tens of millions of people in the city and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, as the city has become the center of Japan’s coronavirus epidemic.
Of the 68 new cases in Tokyo, more than 20 are linked to a hospital in the eastern Tokyo ward of Taito, where many patients and staff have already tested positive, NHK said.
Tokyo authorities had no immediate comment on the NHK report.
Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Muralikumar Anantharaman