• STAFF REPORT, KYODO

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 339 new novel coronavirus cases Thursday, topping 300 for the first time in five days amid worries over a new wave of infections following the end of the Bon summer holidays.

The figure, which is up sharply from the 186 infections logged Wednesday, pushed the cumulative tally in the capital to 18,607, with 347 deaths. The result was based on 6,005 tests conducted on Monday. Thirty-six people are in serious condition, up by four from a day earlier.

People in their 20s and 30s made up 54 percent of all new cases reported Thursday.

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.

Japan is in the middle of the second wave of infections, Kazuhiro Tateda, President of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday, adding that he is worried about a twin pandemic of COVID-19 and influenza this coming winter.

In other regions, Osaka Prefecture posted 132 new cases, down 55 from Wednesday.

Aichi Prefecture also announced 82 new cases, while Okinawa confirmed 45 new infections, down from 71 cases a day earlier.

The cumulative total of infections in the country rose by 1,070 to 59,483 cases as of Wednesday, with 1,162 deaths, according to Kyodo News calculations.

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