Osaka Sets New Coronavirus Record In One Day; US military cases decline – Pacific
Osaka Sets New Coronavirus Record In One Day; US military cases are declining
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TOKYO – Six other people in the U.S. military in Japan and South Korea have contracted the coronavirus since April 22, according to information released at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
In Japan, the spring coronavirus outbreak continued in the country’s two largest metropolitan areas. Tokyo reported that 925 people had tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to public broadcaster NHK. This is the highest one-day tally since 1025 on Jan. 28, according to metro government data.
Osaka Prefecture, Japan’s second largest metropolitan area, reported 1,260 newly infected people and confirmed 14 deaths on Wednesday, according to NHK. This is a new one-day high in the prefecture where the previous record was set at 1242 on April 21, according to prefectural data.
Both metropolitan areas are subject to emergency measures authorized by the national government until May 11, including the closure of shopping malls, cinemas, amusement parks and restaurants serving alcohol. Trains and buses in Tokyo operate at reduced times. Employees are invited to telecommute.
U.S. military personnel, including civilian employees and family members, are generally prohibited from out-of-service travel in Osaka and Tokyo, with a few exceptions. Yokota Air Base allows its population to travel throughout Japan, but requires permission from a squadron commander or equivalent to travel to Osaka and the neighboring prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto.
U.S. commands in Japan reported five new COVID-19 patients on Wednesday and U.S. forces in Korea reported one.
The U.S. military in Japan, based at Camp Zama, 26 miles southeast of Tokyo, reported in a new statement that four people tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus respiratory disease, between the 22nd. April and Wednesday.
Two were already quarantined after their recent arrival in Japan, and the other two fell ill with symptoms of COVID-19 and were immediately quarantined, according to the military.
The Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, 26 miles southwest of Hiroshima, has welcomed a new COVID-19 patient, according to a Facebook post on Wednesday. The individual, recently arrived at the air station, tested positive for the test required to come out of quarantine.
U.S. forces in Korea reported that a soldier at Camp Humphreys, the country’s largest U.S. facility, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The soldier was examined before traveling outside of South Korea and is now quarantined on the base, according to a press release from the USFK.
South Korea, like Japan, has its highest number of new cases since January.
The central disease control headquarters reported 775 newly infected people on Wednesday. The total number of new cases in one day has exceeded 700 in five of the past seven days, according to the World Health Organization. Five percent of the country’s population has received a dose of a vaccine, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The USFK, like its counterpart in Japan, stands ready to resume inoculating its population with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a command spokesperson said via email on Wednesday.
The Defense Health Agency and the Department of Defense re-approved the J&J one shot vaccine on Wednesday after a two-week hiatus caused by a handful of rare but serious blood clots, USFK spokesperson said on Wednesday. Colonel Lee Peters, in an email to Stars and Stripes. USFK commander Gen. Robert Abrams is also due to sign, Peters said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended lifting the break after reviewing these cases.
“We will strictly follow FDA, CDC and DOD guidelines to include information on the rare risks of blood clots and low platelet levels associated with this vaccine,” said Peters. “USFK has currently vaccinated 60% of our eligible population, and resuming delivery of the J&J vaccine will increase our vaccinated population and protect our affiliate community, both USFK and [South Korea]. “
Stars and Stripes reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.