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Tokyo reports largest daily jump in infections on first day of coronavirus state of emergency

Tokyo reports largest daily jump in infections on first day of coronavirus state of emergency
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Tokyo reported its largest daily jump in coronavirus infections on the first day of its state of emergency Wednesday.

The city counted 144 new cases, the largest daily amount since the beginning of the pandemic, Reuters reported that Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said. This brings the total number of cases in the city to 1,339, more than a quarter of Japan's total cases.

Japan has confirmed 4,768 cases in the country, with only 98 deaths, public broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday morning, according to Reuters, far fewer than many European countries and the U.S., which are desperately trying to keep up with growing numbers of infections. 

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Nevertheless, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a month-long emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures due to the consistent rise in cases. It is set to last until May 6.

The declaration will give regional governors the authority to pressure businesses to close, which would likely have an impact on the world’s third-largest economy.

Unlike European cities, Tokyo was still bustling with commuters the day after the announcement. 

The city’s governor is planning to announce what kinds of businesses will be required to close amid the emergency, but in the meantime, businesses themselves are making the call on whether to stay open.

In most areas of Japan, authorities do not have penalties in place to punish those who don’t stay home or refuse to close their businesses.