• Staff report, Jiji

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Osaka Prefecture reported 72 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, falling into the 70s for the first time since March 22 as Tokyo confirmed 235 new infections.

Osaka has seen its cases plunge in recent weeks after being put under the government’s coronavirus state of emergency, but its medical system remains in a precarious state. Highlighting this, the prefecture also reported 15 new deaths linked to the virus on Monday.

Elsewhere, Hokkaido logged 147 cases and 15 virus-linked deaths, while and Kanagawa Prefecture reported 173 infections and hard-hit Okinawa Prefecture tallied 104 cases.

Tokyo’s average daily tally of new cases in the week to Monday stood at 422.9, compared with 547.1 a week before. The number of severely ill patients in Tokyo under the metropolitan government’s criteria stood at 61, up one from the previous day.

As of Monday morning, the cumulative number of cases reported nationwide, including among cruise ship passengers and crew members, stood at 763,238, up by 17,553 from a week before.

The pace of growth decreased by some 7,900 from the preceding week, down for the third straight week, while the country’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 605 to 13,598.

The cumulative total of infections came to 163,680 in Tokyo, 100,865 in Osaka Prefecture, 62,815 in Kanagawa Prefecture, 48,822 in Aichi Prefecture and 44,447 in Saitama Prefecture.

On Sunday, Japan confirmed 2,022 new infections, the fourth straight day below 3,000 and 855 fewer than a week before. It also saw 50 new deaths linked to the virus, while confirming 1,131 severely ill patients, a decrease of 26 from Saturday.

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