Tokyo confirmed 294 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, up from 269 on Friday, and the highest daily rise since August 20. Total cumulative cases for Tokyo rose to 32,429.
Other prefectures recording higher numbers are Hokkaido and Kanagawa, with a record 187 daily cases for Hokkaido on Saturday up from 119 Thursday and 115 Friday. Prior to this there had been no three figure infection days there since the pandemic began.
The Hokkaido numbers prompted the government to ask bar and night club businesses in Sapporo’s popular Susukino entertainment district, the largest in the country north of Tokyo, to impose their own curfew by closing between 10pm and 5am, through November 27. The local pandemic level was raised to 3 on its 5 level system. Susukino is literally jam packed with bars, restaurants and stores, with getting into some restaurants and bars involving negotiating a mini maze of narrow entrances.
Susukino is a Japanezy favourite in Sapporo, but with Hokkaido’s increase case number concentrated in Sapporo (93 of Thursday’s 119 cases were in Sapporo) it’s probably not a bad idea to stay away for now if you are heading to the city.
As more snowfalls start to hit the country (after last year’s very mild winter a normal to colder winter is expected) officials fear COVID-19 infections are likely to rise as people are driven indoors more.
Overall Japan reported 1,048 total new cases on Thursday, exceeding 1,000 for the first time since August 21. That went up again to 1,141 on Friday (data source Nippon Communications Foundation)
Of course, compared to shocking 100,000 plus totals happening in America and high totals across Europe, the overall situation in Japan remains far better.