TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan has once again exceeded its maximum daily increase of COVID-19 cases with more than 1,500 new patients, the NHK broadcaster reported on Friday.
It is the third time the country has updated its daily record this week following Wednesday's 1,260 and Thursday's 1,305 new cases.
Meanwhile, Tokyo has, for the first time, recorded over 400 new cases within 24 hours. The prefecture's authorities have asked residents to refrain from leaving their homes, especially to visit restaurants, bars, and other high-risk locations.
In light of the situation, the southern prefecture of Okinawa has declared an emergency, according to Governor Denny Tamaki.
"I declare the emergency across the prefecture's territory. It will last from August 1-15," the governor said in a speech broadcast by the Fuji News Network.
Okinawa has diagnosed 71 news COVID-19 cases, one-fifth of its total since the pandemic broke out.
The Osaka prefecture is introducing limits on the work of bars and restaurants in the city's Minami area from August 6-20, after having recorded 216 new coronavirus cases, the second-largest daily increase in the prefecture. Now the area's bars will have to close at 8 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT).
"I do not know how effective these measures would be, but I request [the management] of the establishments in Minami [to cooperate]," Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said, adding that they will receive financial compensation.
A the same, Japan's government is not planning to declare an emergency in the country for the second time.
"Despite the speed of daily increases rising in a number of regions, which is concerning, the general level of the infection's growth is somewhat slower than what we saw in March and April. This is not the situation that requires bringing back limitations and completely abandoning social and economic activity," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Japan has confirmed more than 37,000 cases, with a death toll surpassing 1,000.
The country previously declared an emergency that lasted from April 8 to May 25.