• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 621 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as the government considered extending the current state of emergency in the capital and Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures beyond the scheduled end next Tuesday.

Tokyo’s daily coronavirus tally stood below 700 for the second day in a row.

But the seven-day average of new infection cases still remained high at 798.9, compared to 758.4 a week before, according to the metropolitan government. The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under Tokyo’s standards totaled 61, down by four from Tuesday.

In Osaka, 668 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday along with 25 deaths, the third straight day that the new cases fell below the 1,000 mark. The lower number of new cases, however, may be attributed to smaller test figures during the Golden Week holiday period.

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura indicated Tuesday he would ask the central government to extend the state of emergency as the number of new infections has not shown a significant decrease.

Neighboring Hyogo Prefecture reported 331 new cases and 13 deaths due to the virus.

On Tuesday, Japan logged 4,202 new coronavirus cases and 50 fatalities, including 20 in Osaka Prefecture. Of those who died in Osaka, three died at home.

Four COVID-19 patients died in Hyogo, including two who were waiting to be hospitalized.

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