The Latest: Tokyo sees most new virus infections since April
TOKYO — The Japanese capital has confirmed more than 220 new coronavirus infections, exceeding its previous record.
The number reported Thursday exceeds 206 daily cases recorded on April 17 when Tokyo’s infections were at their peak.
Health officials say the majority of recent cases are linked to night clubs, but they are raising the alarm about an increase of infections inside households, workplaces and drinking parties.
The experts also advised Tokyo to speed up efforts to expand hospital capacity and prepare for more patients expected in the coming weeks.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urged residents to stay away from nightlife districts and use extra-caution to protect themselves.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Trump to U.S. schools: Reopen or you may lose federal funds.
— Getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed.
— Americans face testing delays as virus surges.
— China defends WHO, lashes out at U.S. move to withdraw
Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has reported another 8,810 confirmed coronavirus cases for 224,665 overall.
Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, now has the country’s most cases with 33% of the total.
A provincial health official on Wednesday said 1.5 million gravesites are being prepared and it’s the public’s responsibility “to make sure that we don’t get there.”
South Africa is now posting some of the world’s highest daily numbers of confirmed cases as Africa’s most developed country makes up 43% of the continent’s total. Lockdown easing continues in much of Africa as economies have suffered.
NEW DELHI — India has reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections and 487 new deaths.
The new infections announced by the Health Ministry on Thursday bring the nationwide total to 767,296, the third most reported by any country.
The surge in infections comes as the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai says its calculated transmission rate for the virus rose during the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from a peak of 1.83 in March. A transmission rate is the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case.
India’s infection numbers have skyrocketed since the government eased lockdown restrictions and as testing has ramped up to more than 200,000 samples a day, compared to just a few hundred a day in March.
Health experts say the true extent of the virus’s spread in India is unknown and that the country must test more given its population of nearly 1.4 billion people.
MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian state worst effected by coronavirus has recorded 165 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, as an outbreak at a Melbourne high school becomes the state’s largest cluster.
Victoria state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Thursday that six of the new cases are linked to an outbreak at Al-Taqwa College, a cluster now totaling 113 people.
The first case at the school was identified on June 27, with more than 2,000 students and hundreds of staff sent into quarantine since then.
The virus detections were up from 134 on Wednesday and down from a single-day record of 191 on Tuesday.
Another 17 cases were reported elsewhere in Australia on Thursday.
BEIJING — China says it has nine new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought from outside the country, and no new deaths.
Thursday’s report buttresses growing signs the virus has been essentially contained inside the nation in which it first appeared late last year.
The near elimination of local virus transmission has allowed the reopening of most businesses and resumption of some social activities, including the holding of the crucial annual college entrance exams. Sports, tourism and cultural activities are also slowly starting to return.
The wearing of masks remains obligatory in most indoor spaces and a proof of health is required for entrance to many venues.
China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 83,581 cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 50 new cases of the coronavirus as new clusters continue to emerge across the country.
The figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday brought the national total to 13,293 cases, including 287 deaths.
Nineteen of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a virus resurgence since late May. Fifteen were reported from the southern city of Gwangju, where infections have been tied to various places, including a Buddhist temple, Christian churches and office buildings.
Twenty-two of the new cases were linked to international arrivals as the COVID-19 continues to spread in southern Asia, the United States and elsewhere.
BRISBANE, Australia — An Australian state has closed its doors to people fleeing a second lockdown in Australia’s second-largest city.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said Thursday that a number of people were willing to pay for their own 14-day hotel quarantine to be allowed to escape Melbourne and other parts of Victoria state, where a six-week lockdown began Wednesday night because of spreading coronavirus infections.
Miles said that beginning Friday, anyone who has been in Victoria in the previous two weeks will be barred from entering Queensland. However, the state will let in residents of Queensland who are coming home and a few other exceptions.
Miles says that “we need to reserve hotel accommodation for people who need to be quarantined.”