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11 unnatural death cases in Japan in March-April were coronavirus-related: NPA

The entrance of the Central Government Building No. 2, which includes the National Police Agency, is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Kazuo Motohashi)

TOKYO -- A total of 11 cases of unnatural deaths nationwide, as determined by Japanese police from mid-March to April 19 where a person died at home or on the streets after there was a sudden change in their condition, were confirmed as being related to novel coronavirus infections, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

According to the National Police Agency (NPA), the 11 cases comprise six people from Tokyo, two from Hyogo Prefecture, and one each from the prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa, and Mie, who are all male.

Doctors carried out polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests after suspecting coronavirus infections based on the patients' condition when they were sent to the hospital and other circumstances. Among those who tested positive for the virus, there were cases whose deaths were not caused by the coronavirus.

According to investigative sources, a man in his 60s was found collapsed on a street near JR Kita-Senju Station in Adachi ward, Tokyo, at around 4:30 a.m. on April 9. The man was sent to hospital by ambulance in an unconscious state, but was later declared dead. The man was given a PCR test where he tested positive for the coronavirus after suspicions of pneumonia arose while he was being sent to the hospital.

(Japanese original by Naritake Machida, City News Department)

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