SAPPORO -- A total of 96 coronavirus infections were confirmed in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on Nov. 2 -- a local single-day record as well as the highest figure of any of Japan's 47 prefectures that day.
The prefectural capital of Sapporo alone recorded 83 new infections, its highest single-day count.
"This is an extremely alarming situation," a city public health center representative said. "The infection has also been spreading among the middle-aged and the elderly, and we project that severe cases and deaths will increase."
In addition to the 83 new cases in Sapporo on Nov. 2, four were confirmed in the city of Chitose, three in the Iburi region, two in Eniwa, and one case each in the cities of Otaru, Tomakomai, Asahikawa, and the Ishikari region. A male student at Tomakomai Technical High School was among the infected. Infection routes for 57 of the new cases are unknown.
Meanwhile, the number of new infections which can be traced to a single eatery in Sapporo's Susukino entertainment district rose by 17. Overall, total cases connected to the district hit 367, stemming from 95 establishments.
A cluster infection was confirmed at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Camp Higashi-Chitose on Oct. 10. Although the Hokkaido Prefectural Government had announced that the breakout on the base was contained as of Oct. 23, it was revealed that six male personnel in their 20s to their 50s had since contracted the virus, leading to a second cluster designation.
Sapporo Medical University announced a total of four new infections on the 11th floor of its hospital's north ward. The new cases are made up of two nurses, one hospitalized patient, and one patient who had been discharged. The cases are thought to stem from an in-hospital infection, and the north ward has suspended new admissions for some two weeks, starting from Oct. 31.
(Japanese original by Nozomi Gemma and Yui Takahashi, Hokkaido News Department)