• Staff report, Jiji, Kyodo

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Tokyo reported 393 new COVID-19 cases on Monday as sources said the government would on Tuesday extend the coronavirus state of emergency for areas hit hard by the third wave of the virus.

The figure was the lowest daily tally since Dec. 21, when the capital confirmed 392 cases, and came after the total number of cases for January, 39,664, doubled the previous record, 19,245, set in December.

Of the 393 newly infected people in Tokyo reported Monday, 64 were in their 30s, 63 in their 40s and 62 in their 20s. Those 65 or older accounted for 107 cases, the metropolitan government said in a statement. Under its standards, the number of severely ill patients in the capital fell by seven from the previous day to 133.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 100,234. Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 6,400 tests were conducted on Friday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

Japan’s weekly count of newly confirmed cases dropped for the third straight week as of 10 a.m. Monday, with the cumulative number of infections, including cruise ship passengers and crew members, standing at 390,701, up by 24,251 from a week before. The margin of growth narrowed from the preceding week’s 35,196.

However, the total number of deaths linked to virus rose by 633 to 5,766, posting a faster pace of increase for the 11th consecutive week.

On Sunday, the number of cases nationwide stood at 2,673, falling below 3,000 for the first time in six days, while deaths linked to the virus hit 65 across the country, including 11 in Osaka Prefecture. Meanwhile, the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients came to 973, down by one from the previous day, according to the health ministry.

Japan will extend a state of emergency to fight the spread of COVID-19 for Tokyo and other areas as hospitals remain under pressure despite a decline in cases from their peaks, government sources said Monday. The government will decide on the extension, which could last through March 7, after a meeting of its experts panel on Tuesday, local media reported.

The government last month declared a one-month state of emergency, due to end on Sunday, for 11 areas, including Tokyo and some of its neighboring prefectures, as part of measures to rein in the pandemic.

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