Japan on Tuesday reported record high COVID-19 cases as the omicron variant flooded the country.

According to the country’s health authorities, Japan reported more than 26,000 virus cases today, the highest through the pandemic which began in December 2019.

Earlier, Japan had recorded 25,992 COVID-19 cases on Aug. 20 last year, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

Japan has reported over 1.9 million virus cases so far, including 18,434 deaths.

To stem the spread of the virus, the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is mulling to impose a quasi-state of emergency in the capital Tokyo and 10 other provinces.

The move will empower local governments to restrict business hours to stem the spread of the virus.

However, the government is also planning to “halt implementation of a government system combining COVID-19 vaccination and testing in a bid to restart economic activities.”

“Restrictions for purposes such as dining are eased under the system that checks whether visitors have been vaccinated twice or have proof of having tested negative for the virus. A spectator attendance limit for large-scale events such as concerts is also eased under the scheme,” the report said.

“It would apply even when areas are placed under a full-fledged state of emergency or a quasi-state of emergency, as a way to curbing the spread of the virus and normalize economic activities,” it added.

Meanwhile, Japanese Emperor Naruhito Tuesday hoped for an end to the pandemic.

Naruhito, 61, at a poem recitation event, said he hoped to “see many people once again traveling to and from Japan once the pandemic is contained.”

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