• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 727 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, dipping below 1,000 after five straight days above that level but surpassing the week-before figure for the 30th consecutive day.

Monday’s caseload in the capital was still 225 more than the 502 reported a week before, as infections continue to jump in Tokyo. Daily new infections in the capital averaged 1,100.4 in the week to Monday, compared with 756.7 the previous week.

The number of people severely ill with COVID-19 under the metropolitan government’s criteria stood at 60, rising by two from Sunday.

Elsewhere, Hokkaido confirmed 70 cases and one death and Okinawa Prefecture saw 35 infections and five deaths, while Hyogo Prefecture reported 39 cases.

Japan appears to be experiencing a fifth wave of infections as new cases increase ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

As of early Monday, total COVID-19 cases in the country rose by 20,918 from a week before to 842,224, a faster increase than the preceding week’s growth of 13,891.

The death toll linked to the coronavirus increased by 93 to 15,063 in the past week.

By prefecture, Tokyo saw 7,478 new cases over the past week, one-third of the nationwide total. The capital had 189,116 cases in total. Kanagawa Prefecture came second with 2,797 new cases, followed by Osaka Prefecture, with 1,898, Saitama Prefecture, with 1,754, and Chiba Prefecture, with 1,530.

Total cases came to 73,113 in Kanagawa, 106,746 in Osaka, 49,682 in Saitama and 43,574 in Chiba.

On Sunday, Japan reported 3,103 cases nationwide, with the daily total exceeding 3,000 for the fifth consecutive day. Four deaths were also newly confirmed.

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