• STAFF REPORT, JIJI, KYODO

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Tokyo confirmed 111 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, exceeding 100 for a fourth straight day, the metropolitan government said, as a recent surge in infections raised concerns over a second wave of the pneumonia-causing virus.

The newest batch of infections is slightly lower than the 131 cases reported a day earlier, which was the highest since May 2. Sunday, however, marked a 10th straight day of more than 50 cases reported in the capital.

A recent surge in new cases prompted Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Saturday to urge residents not to travel beyond the capital’s borders to curb new infections. Seven new infections were reported in Chiba Prefecture on Sunday.

Infections are growing among younger people, and many of them are being traced to host and hostess bars and other nightlife destinations.

While urging the public to exercise caution, Koike has stressed that the metropolitan government will make efforts to reopen its virus-hit economy. The central government has said it does not see the need to immediately revive the state of emergency despite the climbing infections.

Sunday’s cases brought Tokyo’s total infection count to date to 6,765.

Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura held a teleconference with the prefectural governors of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa on Sunday and urged them to take concrete measures focusing on host and hostess bars. Nishimura added the government has no plans to declare a new state of emergency at this time.

Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ohno said that it would cooperate with the central government and other prefectures to take measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A new central government panel on the coronavirus pandemic will hold its first meeting on Monday, Nishimura said Sunday.

The panel, which replaced an expert panel that had given the government advice on the pandemic, will discuss ways to expand coronavirus testing, among other topics.

The government previously planned to hold the first meeting of the new panel on Tuesday, but pushed forward the schedule as the number of new coronavirus cases has been increasing recently.

It is possible to contain the virus’s spread if intensive prevention measures are implemented for nightclubs, Nishimura said.

Nationwide, 274 new infections were confirmed on Saturday, raising the total number of cases, including those aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, to 20,271 with 990 deaths, according to Kyodo News.

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