• Jiji, staff report

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Tokyo confirmed 732 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, down from 925 a week earlier.

Osaka Prefecture reported 509 new cases, down from 974 last Tuesday. Osaka’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 33 to 2,014, making the prefecture the first in the country to breach the 2,000 mark.

New COVID-19 fatalities nationwide totaled 216, including 121 deaths that had not been disclosed by the municipal government of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture.

Across the country, new cases totaled 5,229, the first figure above 5,000 in two days. Okinawa Prefecture posted a record high of 168 new cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients rose by eight from Monday to a record 1,235.

Tokyo’s reported 732 new COVID-19 cases came a day after the daily figure in the capital dipped below 500 for the first time since April 26.

Tokyo confirmed 419 infections on Monday, though case numbers on Mondays are usually lower than other days since some testing sites are closed over the weekend.

The seven-day average of new infections in the capital, meanwhile, came to 756.9, compared with 824.3 a week before.

Among the new cases, people age 65 or older accounted for 81 infections. The number of COVID-19 patients in Tokyo considered to be seriously ill under the metropolitan government’s criteria came to 81, down four from Monday.

On Monday, Japan confirmed 3,680 cases across the country, falling below 4,000 for the first time since April 26. Death linked to the virus totaled 122 and the number of severely ill patients nationwide rose by four from Sunday to 1,227.

Tougher measures in the fight against the coronavirus came into effect in six prefectures on Sunday, with three coming under an expanded state of emergency and another three under a quasi-emergency.

Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima joined Tokyo and five other prefectures already under the emergency, which is set to run through May 31. A quasi-emergency currently covering seven prefectures was expanded to Gunma, Ishikawa and Kumamoto prefectures until June 13.

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