• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 1,387 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, again rising above 1,000 after dipping below the mark for a day and surpassing the week-before figure for the 31st consecutive day.

Tuesday’s caseload in the capital surged from the 830 reported a week before, as infections continue to rise in Tokyo. Daily new infections in the capital averaged 1,180 in the week to Tuesday, compared with 790.6 the previous week.

The number of people severely ill with COVID-19 under the metropolitan government’s criteria remained static at 60.

Neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, meanwhile, logged 433 cases, topping 400 for the sixth straight day. Saitama Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture, which also neighbor Tokyo, saw 314 and 199 cases, respectively, as the capital region braces itself amid a rise in infections.

Early signs of a surge are also emerging outside Kanto. Osaka Prefecture, which was hard hit by the country’s fourth wave of infections, reported 313 cases, up 88 from last week, while Hyogo Prefecture reported 129 cases.

Elsewhere, Okinawa Prefecture confirmed 154 cases, its most since June 16, while Hokkaido reported 104 infections and Aichi Prefecture saw 94 cases.

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

On Monday, 2,329 people tested positive for the coronavirus across the country — the first time for the nationwide daily figure exceeded 2,000 on a Monday since May 24. New COVID-19 fatalities, meanwhile, stood at 12, while the number of severely ill patients rose by 14 from Sunday to 392, according to the health ministry.

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