TOKYO, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on Monday reported 200 new daily COVID-19 infections, marking the highest level for the region since the outbreak of the virus in Japan, local officials said.
Infections in Hokkaido have been in triple digits for four successive days through Sunday, with officials raising the pandemic alert level for Hokkaido to level three on its five-tier scale.
Monday’s figure has seen the northern prefecture’s cumulative total rise to 4,221, according to the latest figures released Monday evening, with health officials saying the drop in temperature and more people staying indoors in poorly ventilated rooms could be responsible for the spike in infections in Hokkaido and other northern regions in Japan.
Rising infections in Hokkaido, a popular travel destination, could see it cut from the governments “Go To Travel” subsidy campaign.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato intimated that removing Hokkaido from the domestic travel campaign was a possibility and discussions in this direction were taking place.
In Tokyo, meanwhile, the hardest hit by the virus among all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, 157 new daily cases were reported Monday, with the figure dipping from 189 infections confirmed a day earlier, the latest figures showed.
The western Japanese prefecture of Osaka, second hardest hit by the virus, reported 78 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing its total cases load to 13,894 infections.
Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa, meanwhile, confirmed 36 new cases, bringing its tally to 9,374.
Nationwide, 779 new daily infections were confirmed on Monday, bringing Japan’s cumulative total to 109,280, not including those connected to a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier in the year.
The latest figures Monday evening revealed the national death toll from the virus stood at a total of 1,849 people.