TOKYO — The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection in Japan surpassed 10,000 on Saturday, just days after a state of emergency was extended nationwide in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 cases in Asia’s second-largest economy doubled in 9 days. Newly reported cases on Saturday totaled more than 400.
Tokyo remains the hardest-hit region, reporting 181 new infections on Saturday.
At 10,278 as of 9 p.m., Japan’s number of COVID-19 cases is approaching the 10,653 confirmed patients in South Korea, which was once the worst-hit Asia-Pacific country outside of China, data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center shows. South Korea has since been overtaken by India.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday once again appealed to the nation to stay indoors, saying a target of an 80% reduction in social contacts had not been reached.
The day before, Abe expanded his declaration of a state of emergency to the entire country from an original seven areas that included Tokyo and Osaka. The move was prompted in part by fears the outbreak could overwhelm medical services in rural areas that are home to many elderly people.
Just over 200 people have died of the virus in Japan as of Saturday.