• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 570 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as experts warn of signs of rebound in the capital less than a month until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.

Thursday’s figure is higher than 452 reported a week before. The capital’s daily infection tally averaged 439.6 in the week to Thursday, compared with 386.4 the previous week.

The number of people severely ill with the coronavirus in Tokyo under the metropolitan government’s standards decreased by one from Wednesday to 43.

A health ministry advisory board noted on Wednesday that new cases in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures are rising again.

Voicing concern over the highly infectious delta variant, which was first identified in India, experts stressed that it remains important to reduce the flow of people and person-to-person contacts.

The health ministry said that 36 people in the country were found infected with the delta variant in the week to Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 153. Delta variant cases have been found in 13 of the nation’s 47 prefectures.

By prefecture, Tokyo had the largest number at 43, followed by Kanagawa at 29, Chiba at 18, and Hyogo at 13.

On Wednesday, Japan confirmed 1,797 new cases. Fatalities from COVID-19 totaled 58 across the country. The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients fell by 51 from Tuesday to 646.

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