Japan has recorded at least 22,500 Covid-19 cases since August 1, more than a third of its nationwide total since the pandemic began.
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.
Read more about Japan's coronavirus fatigue: