• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 121 new COVID-19 cases Monday — the lowest daily total since early November — as six prefectures exited the coronavirus state of emergency.

The 121 cases were the lowest since the capital saw 88 on Nov. 2. It also comes after the number hit a fresh low exactly a week ago, when it saw 178 cases.

The coronavirus state of emergency was lifted in Aichi, Gifu, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures a week earlier than the scheduled March 7 expiry date amid signs of an improvement in the infection situation. But concerns about a possible resurgence of COVID-19 cases continues to linger in both the six prefectures and the four remaining ones — Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama — which are awaiting further signs of improvement.

Of Monday’s new cases in the capital, 24 were in their 40s, 22 in their 20s and 16 in their 50s. Those age 65 or over accounted for 23 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by six from a day earlier to 61. Reflecting the latest figures, the cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 111,797.

Tokyo’s daily case total came after 1,700 tests were conducted on Friday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

Tokyo’s announcement came after the weekly number of newly confirmed cases in Japan dropped for the seventh consecutive week.

Including Monday’s cases in the capital, the cumulative number of infections, including among cruise ship passengers and crew members, came to 433,568, up by 7,207 from a week before. The cumulative death toll linked to the virus stood at 7,910 across the country, up by 404.

On Sunday, a total of 999 new cases were confirmed across the country, with the daily total standing below 1,500 for the 10th consecutive day. No new cases were reported in 13 prefectures. The number of deaths linked to the virus totaled 30, while that of severely ill patients fell by six from the previous day to 434.

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