• Staff report, Kyodo, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 884 new COVID-19 infections on Monday — as well as a record 108 serious cases — as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government is considering a fresh state of emergency declaration in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures amid a surge in coronavirus cases. The 884 cases were a record for a Monday.

The number of people with severe COVID-19 symptoms nationwide also rose to a new high of 731, up by 17 from the previous day, the health ministry said. Across the country, 3,324 people were newly found positive for the novel coronavirus, with the daily count above 3,000 for the seventh straight day.

The daily figure hit the highest level yet in the southwestern prefectures of Saga and Miyazaki, at 23 and 32, respectively. Forty-eight COVID-19 deaths were newly confirmed in the country, including 11 in Osaka Prefecture.

The rising figures in Tokyo have piled pressure on the capital’s medical system, with the number of severely ill patients based on Tokyo’s standards growing by seven on Monday from the previous day to 108. The number is the most on record for the capital.

Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 2,067 tests were conducted on Friday, the metropolitan government said in a statement. Among the new cases, people in their 20s made up the largest group at 241, followed by 181 for people in their 30s and 147 among those in their 40s.

The cumulative number of infections in the capital stood at 63,474.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her counterparts in Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures on Saturday urged the central government to issue a second emergency declaration for their areas, days after the capital reported more than 1,300 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time.

The cumulative number of infections nationwide as of 3 p.m. stood at 246,820, an increase of 24,712 from a week before.

The seven-day count of new cases rose from the preceding week for the 14th straight week as the nationwide death toll linked to the coronavirus rose by 358 to 3,645.

The daily count of new cases exceeded 3,000 for six days in a row on Sunday, including a record high of 4,520 marked on Thursday. By prefecture, Osaka followed Tokyo with the most cases, at 30,772, and Kanagawa ranked third with 22,480. Meanwhile, Aichi, Saitama, Hokkaido, Chiba and Hyogo saw their cumulative cases surpass 10,000.

The death toll stood at 632 in Tokyo, 601 in Osaka and 472 in Hokkaido. The number exceeded 100 in Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa, Aichi, Saitama, Hokkaido, Chiba, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures.

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