• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases on Monday, falling into single digits for the first time in 17 months.

Monday's figure was down by eight from a week earlier, and below 50 for the 16th consecutive day. The last time the daily count was in single digits was on May 31, 2020, when it reported five cases.

The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo came to 23.4, compared to 29.6 a week before. The number of severely ill patients under Tokyo's own criteria stood unchanged from Sunday at 14. One new death from COVID-10 was reported in the capital.

On Sunday, 229 new cases were reported across the nation, with the figure staying below 300 for the fourth straight day. Seven deaths were newly confirmed among COVID-19 patients, while the number of severely ill patients fell by 10 from Saturday to 124, according to the health ministry.

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