• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 843 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with the weekly average of new infections have gradually decreased over the past few days.

The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo stood at 704.0 Thursday, compared to 933.9 a week before. The number of severely ill patients under Tokyo’s standards came to 69, down four from Wednesday.

Among the new cases, people age 65 or older accounted for 93 cases, the metropolitan government said.

On Wednesday, Japan reported 5,818 new cases, sending its total cases so far above 700,000.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients nationwide rose by 58 from Wednesday to a record 1,293, according to the health ministry. New fatalities on the day totaled 97 cases.

Okinawa Prefecture, which has asked the central government to place it under a state of emergency, confirmed a record 203 cases on Wednesday, exceeding 200 for the first time.

The government is making arrangements to add Okinawa Prefecture to the areas under its COVID-19 state of emergency declaration, a government source said Thursday.

The planned addition of Okinawa would bring the total number of prefectures under the emergency declaration to 10. The novel coronavirus has been rapidly spreading in the prefecture, straining its health-care system.

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