• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Tokyo confirmed 973 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as the figure dipped below 1,000 for the first time in two days, and for the first time on a Wednesday this year.

But while overall cases appear to be trending downward, the number of severely ill patients in Tokyo on Wednesday surged by 11 to 159, the metropolitan government said in a statement, a day after the country reported a record number of such cases.

In Tokyo, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new cases by age, at 193, followed by 160 in their 30s and 146 in their 50s. There were 217 new cases among people age 65 or over. The cumulative total in the capital is now 96,507.

Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 1,894 tests were conducted Sunday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

The figure comes nearly three weeks into a coronavirus state of emergency covering the capital and some other major urban centers.

On Tuesday, Japan reported 3,853 new cases of the deadly virus, topping the 3,000 threshold for the first time in two days. The figure was far below the more than 5,300 reported a week ago. The country also confirmed 104 new deaths linked to the virus, including 14 in Osaka Prefecture and 13 each in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

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