• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 409 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with the daily total topping 400 for the first time since Feb. 18, even as the government plans to end the current state of emergency on Sunday as scheduled.

Wednesday’s figure is up from the 340 cases reported on the same day last week and marks the ninth straight day for which the new case number was higher than the week-before levels.

The nationwide daily count came to 1,535, also the highest since Feb. 18. Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan reported a record 107 cases, while there were 43 new COVID-19 fatalities registered across the country.

According to the health ministry, coronavirus variants spreading in Britain and elsewhere were found in 128 people across Japan in the week through Tuesday. The country’s cumulative variant cases thus rose to 399.

Japan also found 11 variant cases through airport quarantine, sending the cumulative number to 86.

Of Wednesday’s new cases in the capital, 88 were people in their 20s, 69 were in their 30s and 58 were in their 40s. Those age 65 or older totaled 85 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria declined one from the previous day to 41.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 116,293. The results came after 1,739 tests were conducted Sunday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

Japan confirmed 1,134 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, with the daily count surpassing 1,000 for the first time in three days.

New deaths due to the infection totaled 57, and the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients rose 10 from Monday to 337.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average number of people who tested positive for the virus came to 289 in the capital, up 10.4% from a week earlier.

In Shizuoka Prefecture, a coronavirus variant was found in 10 people at an after-school child care facility. All of them have no or mild symptoms, according to the prefectural government.

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