TOKYO -- The remains of 250 people who died outside of medical institutions in August tested positive for COVID-19, setting a new high, Japan's National Police Agency (NPA) has revealed.
The total far outstrips the previous record of 132, set in January this year, and the 31 cases registered in July.
Police around the country classify those who get sick and die outside health care facilities as deaths from unnatural or other causes. According to the NPA, since March 2020, among the remains of individuals who died from unnatural or other causes dealt with by police, some have tested positive for the coronavirus. The August tally raised the overall total to 817 such cases.
Of the 250 cases reported for August, 218 people died at home, in elderly care facilities, accommodation facilities and other places. The remaining 32 died outside the home. A total of 132 people had taken PCR tests showing they were infected before they died, while 118 positive cases were confirmed posthumously.
The cases were confirmed in 29 prefectures, including Tokyo, which recorded the largest total of 112, followed by 23 in Saitama north of Tokyo, 22 in Kanagawa south of the capital, 20 in western Japan's Osaka, and 19 in Chiba east of the capital. By age, 74 people were in their 50s, forming the largest group, followed by 41 in their 70s, 40 in their 60s, 34 in their 40s, 28 in their 80s, 23 in their 30s, five in their 20s, four in their 90s, and one aged between 10 and 19. Among the 250 dead, 184 were male and 66 female.
A total of 216 cases were attributed to illness, including 158 deaths caused by the coronavirus, and 29 deaths by pneumonia. As for factors other than illness, 22 deaths were due to accidents or other incidents, while 12 died of unknown causes.
(Japanese original by Noritake Machida, Tokyo City News Department)