The Latest: Japan's virus cases hit record for fourth day

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Ambulance vehicles and health workers are pictured at the entrance of the University Clinic for Infectious Diseases COVID-19 center, in Skopje, North Macedonia, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. North Macedonia has declared its first-ever nationwide state of emergency, allowing authorities to more easily use the armed forces as well as private resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

TOKYO — The daily tally of reported COVID-19 cases in Japan hit a record for the fourth day in a row, with 2,508 people confirmed infected, the health ministry said Sunday.

Japan has had fewer than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, avoiding the toll of the harder hit nations. But fears are growing about another surge. A flurry of criticism has erupted, from opposition legislators and the public, slamming the government as having acted too slowly in halting its “GoTo” campaign, which encouraged travel and dining out with discounts.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the decision Saturday. But many people had already made travel reservations for this three-day Thanksgiving weekend in Japan.

Airports and restaurants have been packed. Some said the government should have offered to pay for cancellations, or stepped up more on PCR testing instead, if the goal is to keep the economy going amid a pandemic. Tutorials are circulating online on the proper way to eat and drink at restaurants, while wearing masks.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US reaches 12 million total coronavirus cases

— Italy hits nearly 35,000 new daily virus cases