People wear coronavirus masks last month while visiting the Hasedera Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Japan.

People wear coronavirus masks last month while visiting the Hasedera Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Japan. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – Coronavirus infections remained high in the Japanese capital on Friday as U.S. military bases across the country announced seven new patients.

Tokyo reported another 660 cases and two deaths on Friday, according to public broadcaster NHK, which cited metropolitan government data. That’s 13 less than the day before but 98 more than the same day last week.

Osaka prefecture, the nation’s second-largest metro area, reported 123 new infections and three deaths, NHK said. Okinawa prefecture, home to most U.S. troops in Japan, had another 61 new infections on Friday, 21 less than a week ago, according to NHK. There were four deaths.

Japan reported 1,763 new cases as of 6:30 p.m., 121 more than the same day last week, according to NHK and the World Health Organization. There were 22 deaths nationwide.

The government has counted approximately 800,000 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic and 14,500 deaths, the WHO said.

Kadena Air Base on Okinawa has reported four infections since case numbers were last announced on Wednesday.

One of the new patients self-isolated after developing COVID-19 symptoms, according to a base Facebook post from Thursday evening. The others are a recent arrival to Japan who tested positive before leaving quarantine; a person who had close contact with an infected individual; and someone whose infection was discovered at an off-base clinic.

Yokosuka Naval Base, 35 miles south of central Tokyo, has had one base employee test positive sometime since Tuesday, according to a Navy news release Friday. The unimmunized worker was tested after developing COVID-19 symptoms.

At Yokota Air Base, home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo, has had one person test positive sometime since June 25, the 374th Airlift Wing announced Friday afternoon. The patient, a recent arrival to Japan, came up positive while in quarantine.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in western Japan announced its first COVID-19 infection since June 14 in a Facebook post on Friday morning. The patient tested positive “within the last 24 hours” and was “immediately” placed in quarantine, the post said.

There were no coronavirus infections reported by commands on the Korean peninsula on Friday.

South Korea added 826 new cases at midnight Thursday and three deaths, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s Central Disease Control Headquarters.

The government has counted over 155,000 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic and 2,000 deaths, the WHO said.

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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

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