• Staff report, Kyodo, Jiji


Tokyo reported 258 new coronavirus cases Monday, down from the record-breaking increases of recent days but still a high figure amid a resurgence of infections since last month.

Amid a resurgence of infections across wide areas, the nation's cumulative case total topped 40,000 on Monday.

Mie Prefecture reported a record-high 20 new cases and said it would declare its own state of emergency. The prefecture said a cluster occurred at Mie University's medical school, with nine students there having been infected. Officials are urging residents to avoid visiting entertainment districts in Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, Fukuoka and Okinawa prefectures.

Elsewhere, Aichi Prefecture reported 124 new cases, exceeding 100 for the seventh straight day after it saw a record 193 cases on Friday. Among the cases on Monday, 82 were reported in Nagoya alone.

Osaka Prefecture reported 81 new cases, the first time for the figure to fall below 100 since July 27. The prefecture reported a record high 221 infections last Wednesday.

Okinawa Prefecture, which has also declared a state of emergency, reported 37 new cases.

In Hokkaido, 23 new cases were reported, the first time the daily figure surpassed 20 since May 6.

Fukuoka Prefecture, which has also seen a recent surge in cases, reported 50 new infections, while Kanagawa Prefecture reported 48.

Tokyo's latest figure comes after the capital reported 292 cases Sunday, a record high 472 cases Saturday and 463 cases Friday.

Infections among family members and friends are rising in the capital. Two families of five had all of their family members infected, while six from a group of seven people who traveled together got infected.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has raised its alert for the pandemic to the highest of the four levels, meaning "infections are spreading," with Gov. Yuriko Koike warning that Tokyo may declare an emergency for the capital.

Tokyo has requested that karaoke parlors and establishments serving alcohol close by 10 p.m., effective from Monday through the end of August, to mitigate the spread of the virus.

In Tokyo, the average daily number of infections hit 338 over the past week.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday that the central government does not plan to request that people refrain from traveling to their hometowns or elsewhere during the upcoming Obon holidays despite the surge in cases.

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