The city of Tokyo on high alert in coronavirus

La ville de Tokyo en alerte maximale au coronavirus

TOKYO | The city of Tokyo is at its highest level of alert in coronavirus following a rise in cases, warned on Wednesday its governor Yuriko Koike.

“The experts came to tell us that the situation of the infections is at level 4 on a scale of 4, which means that they +seem to be spread+,” said Ms. Koike during a meeting devoted to the pandemic of novel coronavirus.

This alert is “red” in the vast capital of 14 million inhabitants inserted in a megalopolis of about 37 million, the most populous in the world, does not mean that the municipality will require closures of shops or postponements of events.

A panel of experts said Wednesday that the city was experiencing a rise in the number of cases among the young population, with contamination found in the nightspots, but also in workplaces and in families.

“Our analysis is that we are forced to conclude that this is the red flag, the highest level if we simply look at the numbers,” said Norio Ohmagari, one of the experts on the panel.

The state of emergency in Japan in April-may had not led to a containment such as those observed in Europe, the law does not allow to use coercive methods to encourage the inhabitants to stay in their homes.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe had lifted the end of may and now seems unwilling to re-establish in the face of an economy in recession for the first time since 2015.

But the number of new cases daily has since increased, reaching a record of 243 during the last week in Tokyo.

Japan has been relatively unaffected by the pandemic, with a little more than 22 500 cases and nearly 1,000 deaths since the beginning of the crisis. No deaths due to the coronavirus has not been reported in Tokyo for three weeks.

The country’s borders remain closed. Japan refuses entry to its territory to non-Japanese from over a hundred countries, including foreign permanent residents in Japan.

The country has nevertheless launched a campaign to encourage domestic tourism, an initiative that has sparked fears the virus is spreading across the archipelago.

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