TOKYO • Students in Tokyo went back to school yesterday, while businesses such as gyms, saunas and cinemas reopened their doors in the Japanese capital after nearly two months under a loose lockdown.
In Tokyo, the epicentre of Japan’s outbreak, the daily infection rate has been in double digits for several days since last Monday, when the government lifted the state of emergency completely, reported Xinhua. According to the latest figures from public broadcaster NHK yesterday, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in Japan increased by 37 to reach 16,949.
The Health Ministry began testing around 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies yesterday in a bid to better grasp the scale of infection as part of preparations for an anticipated resurgence in cases, Kyodo News reported.
Japan has been slowly reopening economic activity across the country. Schools in the capital are resuming – albeit with staggered student attendance – for the first time in around three months, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for their closure at the end of February.
In Tokyo, Governor Yuriko Koike has laid out a three-stage reopening road map for when businesses can resume operations, with the city entering stage two of the plan yesterday, reported Bloomberg.
That has allowed resumption of activities at gyms as well as a range of businesses, from private cram schools to department stores.
There were 13 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Tokyo yesterday.
Separately, dozens of fireworks displays erupted simultaneously at secret locations across the country at 8pm yesterday for a five-minute show called Cheer Up Hanabi (fireworks) to lift the public’s spirits, urge the gods to end the pandemic and provide practice for struggling pyrotechnic artisans.