By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – Japan on Wednesday recorded more than 209,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic broke out two years back.
The country of over 127 million people is battling a severe seventh wave of coronavirus with the health situation exacerbated by the highly transmissible omicron subvariant BA.5.
“New infections have been continuously increasing at a rapid pace to its highest ever level across Japan,” Health, Labor, and Welfare Minister Shigeyuki Goto told a meeting of the ministry's advisory panel of experts.
Japan recorded around 201,000 cases last week as cases were reported across more than half of the country’s 47 provinces, according to data analysis by Tokyo-based Kyodo News.
Since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in December 2019 in China’s Wuhan city, Japan has reported more than 11.9 million cases, including 32,048 deaths.