• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 2,362 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, down by 1,219, or 34%, from a week before.

Osaka Prefecture reported 2,353 new infections and 12 deaths as cases remained high in the major urban center.

Around the capital, Kanagawa Prefecture logged 1,633 cases and four deaths and Chiba Prefecture saw 1,204 cases and six deaths.

The daily tally in the capital was lower than the previous week’s level for the 13th consecutive day, but experts said precautions should be taken to prevent a rebound of COVID-19 infections as most schools resume after the summer break.

Tokyo also confirmed 15 new deaths among COVID-19 patients. The seven-day average of daily cases came to 2,724.7 — down from 3,971.3 a week before. The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms, based on Tokyo government standards, declined by 11 from Friday to 267.

Elsewhere Saturday, Aichi Prefecture logged 1,776 cases, its 18th straight day over 1,000, while Okinawa saw two deaths and 558 cases, the 10th straight day cases have dropped from the number reported the week before.

Hyogo Prefecture tallied 755 new cases and five deaths.

Across the nation, 16,739 new cases were confirmed on Friday, down by about 30% from 24,193 a week before, to stay below 20,000 for the second straight day. The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients grew by 63 from a day before to 2,221, hitting a record high for the second straight day, while 63 deaths were confirmed.

According to the health ministry, 135,674 COVID-19 patients were isolating at home as of midnight Tuesday. Tokyo had the largest number of such patients, at 19,765, followed by Osaka Prefecture, at 17,723, and Aichi Prefecture, at 16,058.

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