Japan on Monday reported another 25 deaths caused by the novel coronavirus, its highest tally for a single day, with the number of infections still rising almost two weeks after a state of emergency was declared for Tokyo, Osaka and some other areas with large urban populations.

The total death toll now stands at 276, while Japan has confirmed at least 11,137 COVID-19 cases, excluding about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February and those among people who returned to the country on charter flights after the virus was first detected in China late last year.

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first declared a state of emergency for seven prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, on April 7, he said the number of infections was projected to peak in two weeks and start decreasing if contact between people was reduced by 80 percent.

But daily infection figures above 400 are still not unusual, including three days last week. The largest daily increase of reported cases was 501 on April 11.

Under such circumstances, Abe expanded the emergency situation to all of Japan last Thursday.

Tokyo's daily increase of new cases topped 200 for the first time on Friday.

The pace of infection is also accelerating in other parts of Japan, such as the northern main island of Hokkaido, where the number of new cases has been increasing again since around April 8 after it lifted its own state of emergency in mid-March.

But daily infection figures above 400 are still not unusual, including three days last week. The largest daily increase of reported cases was 501 on April 11.

Under such circumstances, Abe expanded the emergency situation to all of Japan last Thursday.

Tokyo's daily increase of new cases topped 200 for the first time on Friday.

The pace of infection is also accelerating in other parts of Japan, such as the northern main island of Hokkaido, where the number of new cases has been increasing again since around April 8 after it lifted its own state of emergency in mid-March.


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