Covid-19 cases in Japan hit record high amid holiday travel

The daily tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Japan hit a record for the fourth day at 2,508, the Health Ministry said Sunday.

Japan has had fewer than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, avoiding the toll of harder hit nations. But fears are growing about another surge. A flurry of criticism from opposition legislators and the public has slammed the government for being too slow in halting its “GoTo” tourism campaign, which encouraged travel and dining out with discounts.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday scrapped the campaign, but only after many people had already made travel reservations for a three-day Thanksgiving weekend in Japan.

Airports and restaurants have been packed. Some say the government should have offered to pay for cancellations, or stepped up PCR testing instead, if the goal is to keep the economy going amid a pandemic. Tutorials are circulating online on the proper way to eat and drink at restaurants while wearing masks.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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