• staff report, Jiji


Tokyo reported 711 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday as the capital weighed asking the central government to declare another coronavirus state of emergency there.

Tokyo’s figure was the most for a Tuesday since Jan. 26, when it reported 1,026 cases, and was markedly higher than the previous two Tuesdays — 510 on April 13 and 399 on April 6.

The metropolitan government could make a decision on a new state of emergency after hearing from health experts Thursday, sources close to the matter said.

Osaka Prefecture, which made a formal decision Tuesday to request the central government make an emergency declaration, reported 1,153 new COVID-19 cases the same day. The prefecture saw over 1,000 new coronavirus cases for six days in a row through Sunday.

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said that the prefecture is talking with the central government about requesting a wide range of local businesses — including commercial facilities, such as department stores and shopping malls, and entertainment venues — to temporarily shut if the state of emergency is declared.

As of Tuesday, Tokyo’s daily coronavirus tally averaged 629.3 over the last week, up from 492 the preceding week.

Among Tuesday’s new cases in the capital, 175 people were in their 20s, 148 were in their 30s and 127 each were in their 40s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 107 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria rose by three from a day earlier to 50. The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 131,199.

On Monday, the country confirmed 2,907 cases, as well as 30 deaths linked to the virus, including five in Saitama Prefecture. The number of coronavirus patients with severe symptoms, meanwhile, rose by 15 from Sunday to 738, the health ministry said.

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