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Tokyo’s coronavirus count surges past 20,000 cases with new reports Thursday

More than 20,000 people in Tokyo have become infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to government data. More than 16,000 of those have recovered and 356 have died.

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By JOSEPH DITZLER AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 27, 2020

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TOKYO — Japan’s capital city reported 250 new coronavirus cases Thursday, pushing the total number there during the pandemic above 20,000, according to public broadcaster NHK.

U.S. military bases in the country announced three new infections, all on Okinawa, two at a Marine Corps base and one at an Air Force base.

More than half, 52%, of the new infections in Tokyo occurred within people in their 20s and 30s, according to NHK, which cited the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. People in their 60s account for 24% of those cases.

With Thursday’s cases, Tokyo has reported a total of 20,096, according to metro government data. More than 16,000 have recovered and 356 have died.

The number of new daily cases has ranged between 339 and 95 in the past week, and the moving seven-day average is about 225, according to the metro government.

Central Tokyo is still off-limits to most U.S. military personnel. A handful of U.S. bases are in or near the Tokyo metro area, including Camp Zama, headquarters for U.S. Army Japan; Yokota Air Base, headquarters for U.S. Forces Japan; and Yokosuka Naval Base, home of the U.S. 7th Fleet.

At Yokosuka, the largest U.S. naval base in the country, the falling number of active cases there means some base services will resume, according to a Facebook post Thursday.

The barber and beauty shops at the Navy Exchange opened Thursday, the post said. The bowling center is scheduled to open Friday and the library, fitness centers and gym are set for Saturday.

“For now, our goal is to make as many safe options available on-base given the limited activities and travel available off-base,” the post said.

The naval base on Wednesday reported 39 active cases, along with six new ones since Friday. The installation has been under a substantial risk of the coronavirus spreading, in military terms Health Protection Condition-Charlie, since Aug. 10.

Anyone affiliated with the base, including civilian employees and family members, is barred from activity in the local area except for essential services such as paying bills, grocery shopping and medical appointments.

However, that may change as base authorities review data on the coronavirus in the surrounding area over the weekend, according to the post.

On Okinawa, the Marines reported two new cases at Camp Kinzer, according to a Facebook post by Marine Corps Installations Pacific. The two individuals were placed into quarantine as a result.

The Marines also reported that three people had recovered from the virus.

At Kadena Air Base, an individual already quarantined with coronavirus symptoms has tested positive, according to a Facebook post by Kadena on Thursday. The person’s contacts are limited to family members.

Another four people at the base have recovered from the virus, the post said.

Okinawa prefecture reported 36 new cases on Thursday, a prefectural health official told Stars and Stripes by phone. The prefecture has reported 2,014 cases since the pandemic began.

A woman in her 80s from Naha city died Wednesday, bringing to 25 the total deaths due to coronavirus on Okinawa, according to prefecture’s website.

As of Monday, Tokyo had the highest number of cases in Japan, followed by Osaka, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Wellness website. Okinawa ranked ninth out of 47 prefectures.

ditzler.joseph@stripes.com
Twitter: @JosephDitzler

Ichihashi.aya@stripes.com
Twitter: @AyaIchihashi