Reduced number of new infections coincides with strengthened calls from government for people to stay home.

Even in hard-working Japan, Sunday is a day of rest for most people. However, the coronavirus doesn’t take days off, and on April 26 72 new cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in Tokyo, with the oldest of the newly afflicted in their 90s and the youngest between the ages of 10 and 19 (the Japanese language has no term to differentiate “teenagers” from others in the 10-19 age group).

While that number signifies 72 new life-threatening tragedies, it also represents a glimmer of hope, as last Sunday was the first day in nearly two weeks for Tokyo’s number of new infections to drop down below 100, after having been inn the triple digits each and every day since April 14.

Of course, fewer than 100 people being infected instead of more than 100 is good news in the same way that being kicked in the crotch but having your assailant’s foot hit only one of your testicles is good news. Sure, things could be worse, but the situation is still far from desirable, and it’s definitely too early to stop protecting one’s delicate parts/public health. A troubling wrinkle to the statistics is that out of the 72 new cases, doctors have only been able to determine the source of transmission for 20, leaving it a mystery how the other 50 became infected and leaving open the possibility that whoever infected them is still infecting other people.

▼ So keep those masks on!

There’s also the possibility that the dip in new cases is simply a result of fewer people seeking medical attention/being tested for infection on the weekend, and that a number of cases that simply weren’t diagnosed on the 26th are simply going to show up in the numbers for the rest of the week. Remember, though, that last Sunday’s sub-100 cases was the lowest number in nearly two weeks, and that the number of new cases on the previous Sunday, April 19, was over 100, as were the numbers for the Saturdays on April 18 and 25, making it possible that the drop on April 26 is a sign of actual improvement.

Last weekend was also the first weekend to follow increased calls by Japan’s government for what it’s calling the “Stay Home Weeks” initiative, encouraging people to further limit excursions outside their homes, send only a single member of the family on shopping trips, and to buy groceries and other supplies in quantities large enough to last the household for at least three days at a time. The Stay Home Weeks initiative is currently scheduled to run until at least May 6, through Japan’s Golden Week vacation period, and so hopefully infection numbers will continue to decline as people increasingly practice proper social distancing.

Source: NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!