March 21, 2020 / 4:07 AM / 8 days ago

Japan's coronavirus infections cross 1,000: NHK

Family members wearing protective masks following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), enjoy an attraction at Toshimaen amusement park, which reopened after a three-week closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo, Japan March 21, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has recorded 1,016 cases of domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus as of Saturday, according to public broadcaster NHK, hitting a new milestone as the nation grapples with pressure to avoid a health crisis ahead of Tokyo Olympics.

The tally rises to 1,728 if 712 cases of infections from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month are included, according to NHK.

Although the number of cases is still on the rise, Japan has started scaling back some measures to fight the spread of the virus.

On Friday, Japan said it would not extend its request to close schools, setting the stage for classes to resume at the start of the academic year in April.

The Tokyo Olympics, set to start from July 24, have been cast into doubt by the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of sporting events and qualifiers around the world.

Olympics organizers have repeatedly said the Games will go on as scheduled.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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