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Tokyo Reports Daily Record of 224 New COVID Cases

People wearing a protective face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk at Shibuya pedestrian crossing, July 9, 2020, in Tokyo.

Tokyo reported a daily record 224 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, topping the previous record of 206 new infections in mid-April, when Japan was under a state of emergency.

At a task force meeting, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said 82 percent of the new cases were among people under age 30, including teenagers. She said a significant number of cases are linked to the city’s nightlife district. The governor said she is seeking to provide additional financial support to local nightlife businesses forced to close because of cluster infections. She said that was preferable to once again shutting down the entire city.

Koike also attributed much of the spike to expanded testing, with 3,400 recently tested compared to just over 900 in mid-April. But she said Tokyo residents need to be vigilant to keep the virus from spreading to the most vulnerable.

Tokyo plans to further increase its testing capacity from the current 6,500 to 10,000 to quickly find and isolate patients so that the Japanese capital won't have to return to a stay-home mode.

Experts advised Tokyo to step up preparation at hospitals to increase the number of beds allocated for coronavirus patients to 3,000 from the current 1,000.

Japan currently has about 20,000 cases with around 1,000 deaths. Tokyo now has more than 7,200 cases.