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Japan's COVID-19 infections increase to 468

(Xinhua)    09:03, March 09, 2020

TOKYO, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Japan is stepping up efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases rose to 468 as of 6:00 p.m. (local time) Sunday, with the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido remaining in a state of emergency.

Among the confirmed cases, 454 people were infected domestically while 14 are returnees by chartered flights, according to data from public broadcaster NHK.

Meanwhile, 11 health ministry and quarantine officials have also been confirmed to be infected.

The tally is based on data compiled by the health ministry and local governments. Besides, there are also 696 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored in the port city of Yokohama.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said on Sunday that he expects the country's capability to test people for COVID-19 will top 7,000 a day by the end of march.

According to Kato, Japan's daily testing capability was 4,200 as of Thursday and has increased to 6,200 at present. He expects the capability will be further boosted to over 7,000 tests per day, including those conducted at private labs.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Liang Jun)

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