Tokyo area sees daily coronavirus cases topping 100 for first time: NHK

A man closes the entrance of a voluntarily closed karaoke booths building after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (not pictured) urged Tokyo residents to stay indoors in a bid to keep the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from spreading, near Tokyo Station in Tokyo, Japan April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Some 118 people were newly infected with the novel coronavirus in the Japanese capital of Tokyo, NHK public broadcaster reported on Saturday, citing metropolitan government officials.

It marked the first time that daily confirmed cases exceeded 100 in the Tokyo area, bringing the number of confirmed cases there to 891, NHK said.

Tokyo’s metropolitan government has strongly urged people to stay at home at the weekend as the mega-city faces a rising number of cases and as speculation simmers that Japan may declare a state of emergency, leading to lockdown.

Separately, a man in his 70s died on Saturday from the coronavirus in the central Japanese city of Kani, Gifu Prefecture, Kyodo newswire reported.

It was the first fatal case in the prefecture, Kyodo added.

Global cases of the new coronavirus have shot past 1 million with more than 53,000 fatalities. Japan has so far been spared the kind of explosive surge seen in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, with some 3,000 cases and 73 deaths as of Friday.

As part of a stimulus package due next week, the government plans to adopt measures to help triple the stock of Fujifilm Holding Corp’s Avigan anti-flu drug by the end of next March. Avigan is being tested in China as a treatment for COVID-19.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jane Wardell.