• STAFF REPORT, KYODO

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 207 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, exceeding the 200 mark amid worries that infections are growing once more.

The figure, which is up by 46 from Monday, pushed the cumulative tally in the capital to 18,082. There have been 341 deaths in Tokyo and 27 people are in serious condition. The latest data was based on 2,910 tests conducted on Saturday.

The metropolitan government has raised its alert for the pandemic to the highest of four levels, meaning infections are spreading. Karaoke venues and drinking establishments that serve alcohol are also being asked to close by 10 p.m. until the end of this month.

Elsewhere, Osaka Prefecture logged 185 new infections.

Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, reported 84 new cases, while Chiba Prefecture, west of Tokyo, logged 38.

Aichi Prefecture announced 57 new cases and one death. Nara Prefecture reported 37, including 29 cluster infections at Tenri Univeristy's rugby club.

Okinawa Prefecture announced 33 infections, with six separate cases reported by the U.S. military. Hyogo Prefecture reported 25 cases, while Kyoto logged 26.

Infections have been spreading even though most people refrained from going out during the summer holidays.

Six Japan Railway operators said Tuesday that the number of people who used the bullet trains or express trains during the Obon summer holiday period between Aug. 7-17 fell 76 percent from a year earlier, marking a record decline according to data going back to 1990.

So far, four new deaths were reported Tuesday, with one death each at Sendai, Nagoya, Kumamoto and Niigata.

Japan confirmed 15 deaths from the novel coronavirus Monday, the highest in a day since the nationwide state of emergency was lifted in late May, as urban areas continue to battle with high numbers of new cases.

Daily deaths had mostly remained in the single digits since the state of emergency was lifted on May 25, but numbers have risen again in recent weeks.

Japan's total death toll stood at just above 1,130 as of Tuesday, including fatalities from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February.

Over 640 new cases of novel coronavirus infection were confirmed nationwide on Monday, dipping below 1,000 for the first time in five days.

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