ANKARA

With the state of emergency enforced from Friday in four provinces of Japan and restricting travel to Tokyo to just 30%, the COVID-19 cases surpassed the grim count of 70,000 in the capital. 

A month-long state of emergency in four Japanese provinces to stem the spread of the coronavirus infection started on Friday, the NHK News reported.

Total cases in Tokyo rose to 71,182 with the addition of 2,392 new patients on Friday, according to the NHK News. This was the second consecutive day when the capital registered more than 2,000 cases.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said on Friday: “We take the current situation very seriously. We are asking everyone to cooperate to overcome this crisis.”

Under the state of emergency, provincial governors have directed bars and restaurants to close by 8 p.m., and residents to stay at home and avoid non-essential outings after this time.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s minister in charge of the coronavirus response, urged businesses to expand remote work so that the travel in Tokyo is reduced to 30%.

Japan reported more than 7,000 infections on Thursday, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic outbreak in December 2019.

So far more than 267,000 coronavirus infections have been reported in the country, including over 3,600 deaths.

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