• staff report, Kyodo

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Tokyo reported 276 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a day after posting just 149 cases.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement that 5,826 tests were conducted Monday, adding that the number of seriously ill patients had fallen to 23 a day earlier from 24. No deaths were reported Thursday.

Thursday’s figure brought the cumulative number of people infected with the virus in the capital to 22,444.

The number of virus cases in Tokyo has been trending downward. Well over 300 cases were regularly reported in early to mid-August.

Given the downward trend, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to lift voluntary measures on bars and restaurants serving alcohol next week. Currently, such establishments are being asked to close by 10 p.m. in the capital’s central 23 wards.

The metropolitan government also plans to lower its virus alert by one notch from the highest of four levels, which means “infections are spreading,” to “caution needed for resurgence of infections.”

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