Photo/Illutration A major thoroughfare in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, in June (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki declared a state of emergency July 31 for the second time after warning that COVID-19 infections in the southernmost prefecture are spreading "at an explosive pace.”

Tamaki urged residents of Okinawa’s main island to refrain from making nonessential purposes until Aug. 15. He also called on residents of remote islands to adopt the same strategy when possible.

“Please make a measured judgment,” Tamaki said at a news conference in urging people in other prefectures who plan to visit Okinawa.

Prefectural authorities on July 31 confirmed 65 new cases of virus infection, breaking the previous daily tally for the fifth consecutive day.

Those infected ranged in age from their teens to those in their 80s.

Tamaki previously issued a state of emergency on April 20.

“The virus is spreading at an explosive pace,” Tamaki warned. “Our hospital beds have a 104.2 percent occupancy rate. We must prevent the healthcare system from collapsing in every way possible.”

Tamaki also called on restaurants in Naha, the prefectural capital, to close at 10 p.m.