The number of people infected with COVID-19 in Japan topped 200,000 on Monday as the disease continues to spread at unprecedented levels in major cities nationwide.

It took more than nine months, and two waves of the novel coronavirus, for the number of infections reported in the nation to reach 100,000. But it took less than two months for that figure to double, in a sign that the outbreak is gaining momentum.

Daily cases continue to set new highs in major cities. “We are still in a situation where we need to maintain the highest level of alert,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Monday.