Japan will not reimpose a state of emergency despite spike in cases, prime minister say

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Japan announced 1,358 new coronavirus cases and four virus-related deaths on Wednesday, as infection numbers soar across the country.

The new figures raise the national total to 42,975 total confirmed cases and 1,037 deaths.

Of Wednesday’s new cases, 263 were from Tokyo and 196 in Osaka.

The recent spike in cases has seen infection rates higher than April, when the country was placed under a state of emergency — but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he does not plan to reimpose the state of emergency because “the situation is very different from that time.”

“We are not in the situation that needs to issue the state of emergency immediately, but we will keep the close eyes with high sense of alert,” Abe said at a news conference in Hiroshima.

He added that the monthly death toll has dropped from 460 in May to 37 in July, and the number of severe cases also fell.

The country has more than 20,000 beds for coronavirus patients and 2,500 beds for serious cases, and the medical system is not under strain, he said.

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