• staff report, Jiji, Kyodo


Tokyo confirmed 350 new novel coronavirus infections on Tuesday, with severe cases remaining below 100 for the second straight day.

The number of cases determined to be serious based on the metropolitan government’s standards fell by five from the previous day to 92.

Tuesday’s new caseload rose by 84 from the day before, but stayed below 500 for a 10th day in a row and marked 19 consecutive days under 1,000.

Although daily cases have been in decline in recent weeks in Japan after peaking in early January, Tokyo and nine other prefectures remain subject to a state of emergency declared to control the spread of the virus.

Of the new cases, 65 were among people in their 20s, 59 in their 50s and 53 in their 30s. People age 65 or older accounted for 92 cases. The latest numbers bring the cumulative number of cases in the capital to 107,959.

Tokyo’s daily figure came after 4,791 tests were conducted Saturday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

On Monday, metropolitan government officials said that a total of 838 novel coronavirus cases in Tokyo had gone unreported, mainly during the year-end and New Year’s period.

Workers at public health offices had failed to press a button that indicates final confirmation and records metropolitan case data in the health ministry’s database of novel coronavirus infections.

At the time, new cases in Tokyo were surging, and the errors have been blamed on “an increased workload” at health offices, officials said.

According to the metropolitan government’s Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health, the errors occurred at 18 health offices between Nov. 18 last year and Jan. 31 this year. The number of unreported cases was 390 at the Katsushika Ward health office, 228 at the Ikebukuro health office in Toshima Ward and 96 at the Shibuya Ward health office.

Japan confirmed 961 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with the daily count falling below 1,000 nationwide for the first time since Nov. 16, when 950 cases were detected.

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