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Coronavirus Cases Spreading at Faster Pace in Japan: Panel

Coronavirus Cases Spreading at Faster Pace in Japan: Panel

   Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--The spread of novel coronavirus infections is picking up pace in Japan, and the situation is severe, a health ministry advisory board on the epidemic said Thursday.
   In the day's meeting to assess the virus situation in the country, including Tokyo and the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the board warned that if the situation is left untouched, a more rapid spread of the virus would be possible.
   In the previous meeting, held on Nov. 11, the board, chaired by Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said that the pace of new infection cases started to increase in November, with growth in infections seen mainly in Hokkaido, the western prefecture of Osaka and the central prefecture of Aichi.
   The estimated effective reproduction number, or the average number of people to whom an infected person transmits the virus, stood at 1.31 for the entire country as of Nov. 1, up from 1.18 as of Oct. 21, the advisory board said in Thursday's meeting. A reading of 1.0 or higher indicates that infections are spreading.
   By prefecture, the estimated effective reproduction number came to 1.27 in Hokkaido as of Nov. 2, 1.86 in Tokyo, 1.30 in Aichi, 1.57 in Osaka and 1.07 in Okinawa, southernmost Japan, according to the board.

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