As the nation recorded its 5,000th death from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, Tokyo reported 1,070 new cases Saturday, its 11th consecutive day above 1,000 but less than half the 2,268 marked two weeks ago and down significantly from 1,809 one week earlier.
The number of severely ill patients in Tokyo fell by two from Friday to 156, the metropolitan government said in a statement.
People in their 30s made up the largest group of new cases in the capital by age, at 206, followed by 180 in their 40s and 154 in their 50s. There were 250 new cases among people aged 65 or over. The cumulative total in the capital is now 92,904.
Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 11,102 tests were conducted on Wednesday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.
The country’s cumulative death toll from the virus reached 5,000 Saturday. The figure jumped by 2,000 over the past month, with the death toll topping 3,000 on Dec. 22.
Health minister Norihisa Tamura told a news conference Friday that the virus situation appeared unchanged over the two weeks since the emergency declaration, adding that the government would closely watch for any changes.
Asked whether the government could lift the state of emergency, which was extended to seven other prefectures on Jan. 14, in early February as planned, Tamura said a final decision will be made based on opinions from experts. The newly covered prefectures are Aichi, Fukuoka, Gifu, Hyogo, Kyoto, Osaka and Tochigi.
Although daily new cases have shown signs of peaking out in some prefectures, they are far more than those reported during the first state of emergency, issued in April last year, while the death toll has also surged.
On Friday, the country confirmed 5,047 new coronavirus cases and a record 108 new deaths linked to the coronavirus.
New deaths confirmed Friday included 16 in Osaka Prefecture and 12 in neighboring Hyogo Prefecture. Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, saw a record 11 daily deaths. In Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, a man in his 60s was found dead while being treated at his home. He had shown only light symptoms and had had no underlying conditions.
The number of coronavirus patients with severe symptoms across the country reported Friday fell by three from a day before to 1,011, according to the health ministry.
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