• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 4,704 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a fall from a week earlier, after experts warned that fatalities could spike with hospitals filling up.

Thursday’s figure compares with 5,534 cases a week before, representing the fourth straight day of week-on-week drops in new infections.

The seven-day average of daily new cases in Tokyo came to 4,352.9, compared to 4,774.4 a week before. There were 11 deaths reported in Tokyo.

The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms, recognized under the metropolitan government’s standards, fell by one to 276.

A health ministry advisory board warned Wednesday about a possible spike in the number of fatalities due to the rapid resurgence of cases across Japan, which is putting the medical system under heavy strain.

“The number of COVID-19 fatalities may increase substantially from now,” the advisory board said. “The ongoing infection spread needs to be contained as quickly as possible.”

On Wednesday, the number of new cases across the nation came to 24,321, with severe cases rising by 29 from the previous day to 1,964, hitting a record high for the 13th straight day. New COVID-19 fatalities totaled 45 on Wednesday.

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