• staff report, Jiji, Kyodo

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Tokyo reported 1,675 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, with the government set to extend the state of emergency in the capital and 18 other prefectures through Sept. 30.

Thursday’s figure was down by 1,424 cases from a week earlier and marked the 18th straight day of week-on-week declines.

The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo came to 1,837.1, compared to 3,140.0 a week earlier.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Tokyo assessed as severely ill under the metropolitan government’s standards declined by one from Wednesday to 251.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of Japan’s coronavirus response, told a meeting of experts Thursday that the medical systems in the designated areas were still in a “severe situation” despite falling numbers of new cases.

He stressed the need to implement thorough anti-virus measures as there could be an influx of travelers on the national holidays in late September.

On Wednesday, 12,398 new cases were confirmed nationwide. There were 89 new deaths, the first daily toll above 80 since June 16.

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