National

Tokyo new virus cases dip to nine, first time in single digits since March

staff report

Tokyo reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the day after the government lifted a state of emergency for 39 prefectures but kept it in place for Tokyo and seven other prefectures where the infection risk is still considered high.

Friday’s figure brings the total number of cases in the capital to 5,036, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday evening the lifting of the state of emergency in 39 prefectures, ahead of its scheduled expiration on May 31, as the risk of infection is considered to be relatively low in these areas.

In a policy change on Tuesday, the metropolitan government released data detailing the number of positive infections from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing confirmed on certain days for the first time.

In response to simmering public worries and criticism, the metropolitan government is attempting to generate a more accurate picture of the overall infection rate.

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