Japan’s COVID-19 death toll exceeds 5,000 as total cases surpass 360,000

Japan’s COVID-19 death toll topped 5,000 with total cases surpassing 360,000 on Saturday as the country struggles to contain the resurgence of infections.

As the number of infections continues to surge, the pace of deaths is accelerating.

The death toll from the virus surpassed 1,000 in July, and topped 2,000 after four months in November. In late December, it passed 3,000 and in less than 20 days, it exceeded the 4,000 mark.

By prefectures, Osaka has the highest number of deaths with 812, followed by Tokyo’s 770 and Hokkaido’s 561.

The latest wave of infections has forced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency in 11 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, earlier in the month.

Under the declaration, the government has asked people to stay home as much as possible and bars and restaurants to shorten business hours, although there is currently no penalty for those who do not comply with the requests.

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