• staff report, jiji

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The coronavirus-linked death toll in Tokyo climbed by 21 from the previous day to 1,017 on Saturday as the capital marked its ninth-straight day with fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of deaths tied to the virus rose to 991 in Osaka Prefecture the same day. Across the country, the day’s tally of new deaths among infected people came to 94.

In Tokyo, the daily increase of deaths reached 20 for the first time on Jan. 28 and hit a record high 32 on Wednesday.

Osaka was the first among Japan’s 47 prefectures to see the cumulative number of coronavirus-linked fatalities surpass 900. But as Tokyo’s daily rise in virus-linked deaths continued to exceed 20 starting last Tuesday, the Japanese capital has topped the prefecture-level death toll list since Thursday.

In terms of severely ill coronavirus patients, the nationwide total fell by 62 from the previous day to 815 as of Saturday, according to the health ministry.

Tokyo, which confirmed 639 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, also saw severe cases under the metropolitan government’s standards fall as the figure dipped by three from the previous day to 114.

Of the total new cases, 128 were in their 20s, 97 in their 30s and 86 in their 40s. People age 65 or older accounted for 182 cases. The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 103,416.

Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 9,582 tests were conducted Wednesday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

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