• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 234 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, as fears of a fourth wave of the deadly virus grow following the lifting of the state of emergency earlier this month.

The total was the first time it dipped below 300 since March 22, when the capital reported 187 cases.

Among Monday’s new cases in Tokyo, 54 people were in their 20s, 36 were in their 40s and 31 each were in their 30s and 50s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 54 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from a day earlier to 40.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 120,208. The results came after 5,051 tests were conducted Friday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

Meanwhile, the weekly number of newly confirmed novel coronavirus cases nationwide exceeded 10,000 for the first time in six weeks.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, the cumulative number of cases, including cruise ship passengers and crew members, stood at 469,623, up 12,031 from a week before.

The weekly number rose for the fourth consecutive week.

Miyagi Prefecture saw 911 new infections over the past week, with the daily figures topping 100 for six straight days. Neighboring Yamagata Prefecture saw its weekly number more than double from the week before to 219.

Osaka Prefecture, meanwhile, recorded 1,799 new infections in the week, overtaking Tokyo in the number of cases per 100,000 people. Osaka’s cumulative infection count exceeded 50,000.

The country’s cumulative death toll from the coronavirus came to 9,078, up 229 from the previous week.

On Sunday, Japan confirmed 1,785 new coronavirus cases, the first below 2,000 in three days. The country reported 29 new deaths linked to the virus and 341 severely ill patients, up 10 from Saturday.

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