• staff report, Kyodo

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 211 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the first above 200 since Saturday, while new cases have been on a moderate decline since mid-August.

A government panel on virus prevention said Wednesday it is too early to say if the resurgence since the end of a state of emergency in late May is over, citing a continued spike seen in some areas such as Osaka and Fukuoka prefectures.

“We have not determined whether the rise (in the number of infection cases) has stopped or not,” said Takaji Wakita, chairman of the panel and director general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Tokyo hit a monthly record of 8,126 new cases in August, with a daily record of 472 on Aug. 1. But despite the capital seeing daily cases in triple digits on every day of August bar one, infections began to trend downward from the latter half of the month.

The capital is maintaining its alert at the highest of four levels, meaning “infections are spreading.”

The metropolitan government has extended a request until Sept. 15 for establishments serving alcohol and karaoke venues in Tokyo’s 23 wards to close by 10 p.m. as many cases have spread from there.

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