In total, Japan has confirmed 59,213 cases and 1,157 deaths, according to the country's Health Ministry.
“We are right in the middle of a second wave. A third and fourth wave can be expected in the future,” President Kazuhiro Tateda of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases told a conference on Wednesday. “We need to reduce the number of seriously ill patients in order to protect our hospitals from falling into confusion.”
Some background: There is an increasing sense of dissatisfaction with the Japanese government's response to the virus and it comes as Japan appears to be on the brink of another major Covid-19 outbreak. For the past 12 days, the Health Ministry has recorded more than 900 daily infections and last Friday marked a new daily high of 1,601 new cases nationwide.
New cases: On Wednesday, Japan reported 1,085 Covid-19 cases and 16 new deaths. The number of patients in critical care has increased three-fold this month, from 80 patients on August 1 to 239 patients on Wednesday.
Heat wave: Meanwhile, a heat wave poses new challenges for mask wearers. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 12,800 people were taken to hospital with heatstroke from August 10-16, twice the number of people in the previous week.