• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 896 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday as the nation was set to declare another state of emergency in Tokyo amid a recent spike in new cases.

Thursday’s figure comes after new cases hit 920 the previous day, the highest since May 13. The daily tally on Thursday is 223 more than a week ago, rising over the prior week for the 19th consecutive day.

New infections in the capital averaged 663.6 per day in the week to Thursday, compared with 523.1 the previous week.

The number of people severely ill with COVID-19 in Tokyo under the metropolitan government’s criteria stood at 60, down two from Wednesday. The capital also reported two deaths.

Elsewhere, Okinawa reported 35 new cases, while Hokkaido confirmed 62 cases and Hyogo Prefecture saw 50 infections.

On Wednesday, 2,191 new cases were reported nationwide. The daily count exceeded 2,000 for the first time since June 10.

An advisory board of the health ministry said Wednesday that it is “strongly concerned” about the novel coronavirus’ resurgence mainly in Tokyo.

The panel observed that those aged 65 or older accounted for only about 6% of the total cases in the capital.

The proportion of older people who tested positive for the virus has declined nationwide as well, indicating the effects of vaccines, it noted.

But the panel said infections in the Tokyo metropolitan region make up some two-thirds of all cases in the country, with the number of severe COVID-19 sufferers in their 40s and 50s increasing to hit the level seen during the fourth pandemic wave this spring.

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