• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 256 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the central government was poised to lift the state of emergency covering the capital region Monday.

The figure was slightly higher than the 239 cases reported a week earlier.

Among Sunday’s new cases in the capital, 52 were detected in people in their 20s, 41 in their 50s and 31 in their 40s. Those age 65 or older totaled 68 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria remained static at 47.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 117,517. The results came after 7,409 tests were conducted Thursday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

On Saturday, the nation saw 1,517 cases of the virus, topping 1,500 for the first time since Wednesday, when the nationwide tally stood above the threshold for the first time in a month. The death toll linked to the virus rose by 19 from Friday and the number of severely ill patients came to 332.

In Miyagi, 125 new cases were reported Saturday — a record daily high for the prefecture. On Thursday, the prefecture issued its own coronavirus state of emergency, which is slated to run until April 11.

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