Published On: Thu, Apr 9th, 2020

As outbreaks flatten in places, Japan, India see more cases

New York: Coronavirus infections are spiking in Japan and creating hot spots in India’s congested cities just as the U.S. and some of the hardest-hit European countries are considering when to start easing restrictions that have helped curb their outbreaks of the disease.

People with protective masks cross a pedestrian walkway Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Tokyo.

Japan reported more than 500 new cases for the first time Thursday, a worrisome rise since it has the world’s oldest population and COVID-19 can be especially serious in the elderly. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency, but not a lockdown, in Tokyo and six other prefectures earlier this week. Companies in the world’s third-largest economy have been slow to embrace working from home, and many commuters were on Tokyo’s streets as usual.

India, whose 1.3 billion people are under a lockdown until next week, has sealed dozens of hot spots in and around the capital, and will supply residents with food and medicine while not allowing them to leave. The number of confirmed cases exceeds 5,000, with 166 deaths, according to India’s Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, deaths, hospitalizations and new infections have been leveling off in places like Italy and Spain, which together have more than 30,000 deaths. Even New York has seen encouraging signs amid the gloom. At the same time, politicians and health officials warn that the crisis is far from over and a catastrophic second wave could hit if countries let down their guard too soon.

For most, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and death. Almost 330,000 people have recovered.


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