• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 299 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, down 266 from a week earlier, the metropolitan government said, standing below 1,000 for the 11th straight day.

It was the first time since March 21 that the figure for a Sunday has slipped below 300.

Eleven new COVID-19 fatalities were reported in the capital, while the seven-day average of new cases through Sunday came to 362.7, compared with 815.3 a week before.

The number of coronavirus patients with severe symptoms, recognized under the metropolitan government’s standards, fell by two from Saturday to 129.

The health ministry said Sunday the number of severely ill coronavirus patients nationwide came to 1,133, down by 52.

The falling numbers come as the central government prepares to make a decision on a whole or partial lifting of the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 prefectures.

Across Japan, the number of new infections stood at 2,674 on Saturday, staying below 3,000 for the second straight day. Tottori was the only prefecture with no new cases, while 33 virus-linked deaths were reported nationwide.

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