• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 154 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, as the government looks to lift the current state of emergency in Tokyo and all other affected prefectures end as scheduled on Friday.

It was the first time since March 22 that the daily figure fell below 200. Monday’s figure was down by 148 from a week earlier, continuing the current downtrend for over a month.

Eleven new deaths were reported among COVID-19 patients in the Japanese capital, while the seven-day average of new daily cases came to 341.6, compared with 771.1 a week earlier.

The number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients, recognized under the metropolitan government’s criteria, dropped by four from Sunday to 125.

On Sunday, new cases nationwide totaled 2,134, standing below 3,000 for the third consecutive day.

With the lifting of the state of emergency, the government has no plans to shift to less strict pre-emergency designation for any of the 19 prefectures under the emergency measures, informed sources said.

The government also plans to lift its COVID-19 pre-emergency designations for Miyagi, Fukushima, Ishikawa and five other prefectures on Friday as currently scheduled, the sources said.

The move comes as the government believes that new COVID-19 cases are on a steady decline and the strain on the medical care systems are easing in all of the 27 prefectures, the sources said.

Still, some of the prefectures may continue requesting eating and drinking establishments to shorten operating hours and take other measures on their own, based on decisions by their governors, in a bid to prevent a resurgence in new infection cases, the sources said.

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