• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 180 new coronavirus cases Monday, the metropolitan government said, amid growing concerns over a third wave of the virus in Japan.

The new cases included 39 in their 20s, 34 in their 30s and 30 in their 40s. Those aged 60 or older came to 35.

The figure for Monday was based on 4,146 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of cases stood at 34,931. The number of seriously ill patients stood at 40.

On Sunday, Japan confirmed a total of 1,440 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including 255 in Tokyo, with the daily nationwide figure exceeding 1,000 for the sixth straight day.

Seven deaths linked to the virus were also reported, including three in Hokkaido.

Hokkaido, the nation’s northernmost prefecture, confirmed 209 cases on Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive day in which the daily count exceeded 200, while the number of infections stood at 266 in Osaka Prefecture, topping 200 for the sixth day in a row.

In other prefectures, new infection cases totaled 114 in Kanagawa, 102 in Aichi, 80 in Saitama and 79 in Hyogo.

Despite the resurgence of infections, people continued to head to popular tourist spots in the country over the weekend as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he will maintain the government’s Go To Travel subsidy campaign to support domestic tourism, and denied the need to declare another state of emergency.

The government has aimed at striking a balance between curbing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping up social and economic activities since it lifted a state of emergency in May.

The latest figures come as over 80% of respondents to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday expressed concern about the number of new coronavirus cases reaching a record high in Japan in recent days.

The nationwide telephone survey, conducted over the weekend, found that 68.4% said the government’s response to the pandemic should be its top priority rather than economic stimulus.

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