Govt. To Push Anti - Virus Steps Amid Rising Cases

Govt. to push anti-virus steps amid rising cases

The Japanese government will continue to urge people and businesses to redouble their anti-infection efforts to curb an increasing number of coronavirus cases. It also plans to start a tourism stimulus program later this month.

Tokyo reported 206 new cases on Sunday, registering more than 200 for the fourth straight day. Osaka confirmed 32 infections, prompting the prefectural government to issue an alert based on its own criteria.

Nishimura Yasutoshi, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response, said the number of untraceable cases has been growing, with daily infection counts curving slightly upward nationwide. He added the situation warrants a sense of caution.

But the government also says the recent increase in daily confirmed cases partly stems from active promotion of testing for those who may have come into close contact with virus carriers.

Therefore, the government plans to maintain its current policy of trying to rejuvenate the economy while encouraging thorough anti-infection measures. It will launch a tourism promotion campaign on July 22 for price discounts on domestic trips.

But critics are concerned that may raise the risk of spreading the virus as the initiative will spur an exodus from Tokyo and other large cities where cases of infection have been rising.

The government will seek to reduce risks by continuing to call on people to take sufficient anti-infection steps, and to stay at home if they feel ill.

It will also support the efforts of local governments, such as asking host and hostess bars to abide by anti-virus guidelines. Cluster infections have been confirmed in some of those establishments.