Tokyo predicts an average of nearly 10,000 daily cases in 1 week

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government predicted on Thursday that the seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases would rise to 9,576 per day in one week if cases increased at the current rate, amid an apparent sixth wave of the pandemic of coronavirus hits the capital.

The projection comes as Tokyo reported 3,124 new infections, surpassing the 3,000 mark for the first time in more than four months. The seven-day average was around 1,500.

The occupancy rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients was 13.7% on Wednesday, with 954 people hospitalized and four of them showing severe symptoms, according to the metropolitan government.

People wearing masks walk in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo on January 13, 2022. (Kyodo)

The capital will consider asking the Japanese government to declare a near state of emergency if the occupancy rate reaches 20% and a state of emergency if the rate reaches 50%, Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters.

“Medical resources can become strained quickly,” she said.

The projected increase in the seven-day average to over 9,500 for Tokyo next Thursday was presented at a panel meeting in the metropolitan government.

The leader of the expert group, Mitsuo Kaku, warned that the number of cases could exceed 10,000 in the near future, saying: “It is important to be fully prepared in advance.”

Tokyo also raised its COVID-19 alert to the second highest level of four levels on the same day as the rapid spread of the Omicron variant continues to increase infections.

This is the first time since September that the alert has been placed at the second highest level.

According to the metropolitan government, up to 83.9% of people who tested positive on PCR tests for the new strains during the week ending Monday were apparently infected with Omicron, up from 49.1% the week before.

The national tally on Wednesday was 13,244, the highest level in more than four months.

Associated coverage:

Japan plans to shorten isolation for close contact with Omicron

Daily coronavirus cases in Japan exceed 13,000 for first time in 4 months

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