An unbridled surge in COVID-19 cases has ramped up pressure on Japan’s healthcare sector.
The country’s daily virus count spiked by around 10,000 to a new record of 71,633 on Wednesday, with 14,086 of the cases detected in the capital Tokyo.
There is “little indication that the spike in infections would slow,” Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.
The deteriorating COVID-19 situation is straining a medical sector that is facing a lack of test kits and stretched human resources, the report added.
As part of efforts to stem rising infections, Japan will expand its quasi-state of emergency to 34 provinces from Thursday.
Under the enhanced measures, provincial authorities will be empowered to ask restaurants and bars to shorten their business hours and stop or limit the serving of alcohol.
Japan’s overall tally now stands at over 2.27 million, including 18,559 deaths.