• staff report, Jiji

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Osaka Prefecture reported 432 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, topping the 400 marker for the first time since Jan. 24 and surpassing the number of infections reported in Tokyo the same day.

Tokyo confirmed 364 new COVID-19 cases, rising for the fourth straight Tuesday.

The capital posted 232 cases on March 2, 290 on March 9, 300 on March 16 and 337 on March 23.

As the nation braces for a predicted “fourth wave” of COVID-19 infections, Osaka Prefecture is planning to ask the central government to designate the prefecture as an area requiring stronger anti-virus measures.

Osaka is believed to be the first in the country to seek binding pre-emergency measures against the coronavirus based on a revised law that took effect in February, which include fines for businesses that do not comply with restrictions on operating hours.

On Monday, it confirmed 213 new infections. Over the last seven days through Monday, new cases in Osaka had totaled 1,933, more than double that of the week prior.

Among Tuesday’s new cases in Tokyo, 86 people were in their 20s, 64 were in their 30s and 55 were in their 50s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 76 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from a day earlier to 39.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 120,572. The results came after 4,203 tests were conducted Saturday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

On Monday, Japan confirmed 1,345 new cases, the first figure above 1,000 for a Monday in seven weeks.

Among recent Mondays, new infection cases fell to 965 on Feb. 15 after coming to 1,215 on Feb. 8. The count dropped to as low as 600 on March 8, but rose back to 695 on March 15 and 816 on March 22. The daily infection tally for Mondays has tended to be lower than for other days of the week.

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