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US naval base near Tokyo reports six new coronavirus infections

A cyclist takes a break outside Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, April 14, 2020.

AKIFUMI ISHIKAWA/STARS AND STRIPES

By JOSEPH DITZLER AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 26, 2020

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TOKYO — The U.S. military in Japan reported eight new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday while the capital city’s count climbed above 200 again.

Yokosuka Naval Base, southwest of central Tokyo, reported six new cases since Friday, according to a base news release. Two more were reported at U.S. bases on Okinawa.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced 236 new infections, according to public broadcaster NHK. That brings the pandemic total in the city of 13 million to 19,846.

The new case numbers Wednesday in Tokyo exceeded the low this week of 95 on Monday but are still below the most recent high of 339 on Aug. 20.

At Yokosuka, four people tested positive after close contact with someone already infected and two tested positive in quarantine after recently arriving in Japan, according to the release.

Another 11 people were deemed recovered, lowering the active case count at Yokosuka to 39, according to the base.

Yokosuka is still on a virtual lockdown under a substantial risk of the virus spreading. The base heightened its status, in military terms Health Protection Condition-Charlie, on Aug. 10 after identifying six new cases.

The heightened status allows travel for all personnel for essential services only, among other restrictions, and Defense Department schools there are operating online.

On Okinawa, the site of three cluster outbreaks in July and early August, the Marine Corps reported one new case at Camp Kinser. That person was already quarantined, according to a Facebook post Wednesday by Marine Corps Installations Pacific. One other person recovered from the virus.

Kadena Air Base reported one new case Wednesday, an individual who showed symptoms of the respiratory disease COVID-19 and who tested positive in quarantine, according to a Facebook post by the base. That person had contact with someone off base who had tested positive. “Initial contact tracing efforts have revealed no exposures to the on-base community,” the post said.

Kadena also reported that five people there recovered from the virus.

Okinawa prefecture on Wednesday reported 34 new cases and one death due to the coronavirus, according to a public health spokesman and the prefecture’s website. The deceased was a patient in his 80s who lived in Naha and died Tuesday.

Okinawa is home to the bulk of U.S. military personnel in Japan. Bases there are also under condition Charlie.

Seventeen people on Okinawa have died of coronavirus complications since Aug. 10, and 24 since the pandemic began.

As of Tuesday, 1,293, or nearly 72% of the 1,801 cases identified since July 8, had recovered, according to the prefecture’s website.

Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki may announce a decision to lift or extend a state of emergency as early as Friday, the prefecture’s spokesman said.

ditzler.joseph@stripes.com
Twitter: @JosephDitzler

ichihashi.aya@stripes.com
Twitter: @AyaIchihashi

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