TOKYO: The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Japan in the week through Sunday per medical institution increased 1.25-fold from the preceding week’s 3.63 to 4.55, the health ministry said Friday.
The numbers were shown by a weekly fixed-point survey covering around 5,000 medical institutions nationwide.
“New cases keep increasing across the country,” said Motoi Suzuki, head of the Center for Surveillance, Immunization and Epidemiologic Research at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Suzuki called for caution particularly over the infection situation in Okinawa Prefecture, saying the number of fresh cases there was close to that during the previous COVID-19 wave.
According to the ministry, 22,432 new cases were reported in the week to Sunday.
Among the country’s 47 prefectures, Okinawa had the highest patient average of 15.80, followed by Ishikawa, with 6.98, and Hokkaido, with 6.71. The lowest was 2.29 in Shimane.
The total number of patients who were hospitalized in the week came to 4,003, up 657 from the previous week.
Meanwhile, the ministry released a coronavirus-linked death estimate for the first time since COVID-19 was downgraded to the same group as seasonal influenza early last month.
The estimate was based on excess deaths figured by comparing the total number of deaths reported by 17 local governments in the March 20-May 14 period with that in the same period in each of the past five years.
As of now, no excess deaths had been confirmed, the ministry said.
An excess mortality-based coronavirus-associated death estimate is made public twice a month. The next release is scheduled for June 23.