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The Asian nation has not recorded triple-figure daily cases of COVID-19 since May 9. The surge in new infections will cause fears the virus is making a resurgence in Japan. Last week authorities ended a curb on domestic travel, the last of a series of major restrictions imposed after a state of emergency was declared in April.
On Friday 103 new coronavirus cases were recorded – its highest daily total in over a month.
There were 54 new infections in Tokyo on Friday, as the figure for the capital remained around 50 for the third day in a row.
On Wednesday, Tokyo confirmed 55 new infections, the highest since May 25 when the nationwide state of emergency was entirely lifted.
Authorities then started to gradually ease its lockdown measures, by reopening bars, cinemas and other public venues.
Last Friday the metropolitan government lifted its advisories on visiting places such as live music venues and nightclubs.
The reopening of clubs has reportedly resulted in clusters of infections emerging, among guests and employees.
In total, Japan has recorded 18,110 coronavirus cases and under 1,000 deaths.
That represents eight deaths for every million people.
Japan’s approach to the pandemic was different to many other countries, as the government did not have the legal authority to implement strong measures, with all restrictions being voluntary requests.
Despite this, the majority of people made efforts to stay at home and many businesses closed their doors.
From early March the government began to disseminate information on the virus in an easy-to-understand manner to help ensure high compliance with the rules.
They launched the “Avoid three C’s” slogan – which stood for closed, crowded spaces with close contact, which is believed to have helped reduce infection.
Social customs, such as the common place wearing of face masks and avoiding shaking hands, hugging and kissing, is also believed to have lowered transmission.
Kenji Shibuya, a global health specialist at King’s College London, said Toyko prevented an outbreak “on the scale seen in many Western countries”.
He credits the public’s cooperation with stay-at-home directives and the fortuitous timing of the emergency
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