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Navy reports two new coronavirus cases in Japan as infection numbers dwindle

People wear masks to guard against the coronavirus while strolling in Yokosuka, Japan, Sept. 23, 2020.

AKIFUMI ISHIKAWA/STARS AND STRIPES

By JOSEPH DITZLER AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 20, 2020

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TOKYO — The Navy reported two new coronavirus cases Tuesday at its base south of Tokyo as the number of infections within the U.S. military in Japan continues to decline.

Yokosuka Naval Base, home of the U.S. 7th Fleet, said two new arrivals had tested positive since Oct. 14, according to a Facebook post. Both have been in quarantine since arriving and remain in isolation.

The U.S. military in Japan typically does not identify coronavirus patients as service members, Defense Department civilian employees, contractors or family members.

Yokosuka, whose commander imposed one of the most stringent lockdowns among U.S. bases in Japan early in the pandemic, last reported a new case on Oct. 15. That person was a recent arrival to Japan and tested positive while still in isolation, the base said. Yokosuka as of Tuesday has six active cases.

In the nation’s capital, still a hotspot in Japan for the virus, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 139 new coronavirus patients on Tuesday, according to public broadcaster NHK. Since Oct. 12, the daily number of new cases in Tokyo has bounced between 78 and 284, according to metro government data.

Japan has reported 93,127 cases during the pandemic and 1,674 deaths as of Monday, according to the World Health Organization.

On Okinawa, home to the bulk of U.S. troops in Japan, prefectural Gov. Denny Tamaki announced a “coronavirus cautionary warning” for the fourth time during the pandemic due to a recent increase in cases.

Tamaki on the prefectural website repeated an admonition to wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash hands and gargle outside the home. He also asked Okinawans to refrain from dining in large groups, to talk quietly in public and stay away from gatherings when ill.

Okinawa had 21 new cases with no deaths on Tuesday, according to a prefectural public health official. The prefecture has reported 2,976 cases and 55 deaths due to coronavirus complications during the pandemic.

ditzler.joseph@stripes.com
Twitter: @JosephDitzler

ichihashi.aya@stripes.com
Twitter: @AyaIchihashi