Tokyo's governor warns of rising coronavirus infections

Tokyo's governor warns of rising coronavirus infections
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Tokyo hit new record highs in daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday, leading Gov. Yuriko Koike to raise the pandemic alert to a "red" level and describe the situation as "rather severe," according to Reuters.

Koike urged residents and business owners to take heightened precautions, calling on establishments such as shops, restaurants, and nightclubs to meet adequate safety measures and remind residents to stay clear of places that do not follow strict guidelines.

"We are in a situation where we should issue warnings to citizens and businesses," Koike said during a press conference, discouraging any unnecessary travel, according to Reuters.

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Daily virus cases have exceeded 200 in the last four days, hitting a record daily high of 243 last Friday. People in their 20s and 30s were the most commonly infected. 

Johns Hopkins University data shows that Tokyo has recorded 8,364 cases and 325 deaths since the pandemic began.

Koike also called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revise the law to permit local governors to penalize owners of businesses who violate health and safety measures.

The latest upticks in cases have also inspired some local municipalities, lawmakers and public members to oppose a government-backed travel aid campaign aimed at spurring domestic tourism.