• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 635 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday — the most for a Sunday since late January — as the capital and Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures entered a fresh state of emergency to fight a resurgence of infections.

Osaka Prefecture, meanwhile posted 1,050 cases, topping 1,000 for the sixth day in a row, while Hyogo Prefecture marked 473, a record for a Sunday.

The health ministry said the percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were recuperating was 25% or lower in Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures as of Wednesday, putting them in Stage 4 under the criteria set by the government’s subcommittee on its COVID-19 response, meaning an explosive spread of infections has occurred.

The tally in the capital was the most for a Sunday since Jan. 24, when it reported 986 cases. It was also higher than the 543 cases reported last Sunday.

The caseload boosted the seven-day average of new cases to 727.1, compared with 586.4 the week before. People age 65 or over, who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms, accounted for 67 of Sunday’s cases.

The number of severely ill patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from Saturday to 50.

On Saturday, Japan reported more than 5,500 new cases, the highest in over three months. The nationwide tally was the highest since 5,682 cases were logged on Jan. 21, when Tokyo and other areas were under a second state of emergency. The third emergency is scheduled to last until May 11, though it could be extended.

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