• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Tokyo reported 871 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, falling below 1,000 for the first time in two days, with people in their 20s accounting for 37% of all new cases in the capital.

According to the metropolitan government, 326 of the total infections reported Monday were among the age group, followed by 145 in their 30s. The number of patients with severe symptoms counted under the metropolitan government’s criteria stood at four, unchanged from the previous day.

Elsewhere in Japan, Okinawa Prefecture reported 779 new COVID-19 cases, while Hiroshima Prefecture saw 672 cases, setting a record for a fourth straight day. Both prefectures were put under quasi-emergency measures with Yamaguchi Prefecture, which reported 101 cases Monday, until Jan. 31.

Separately, the number of new cases among U.S. forces in Okinawa showed few signs of abating, with 391 infections reported Monday.

The United States began imposing stricter COVID-19 measures at its military bases in Japan amid concerns that outbreaks at the bases have fueled infection in local communities.

For two weeks, the movement of U.S. forces personnel outside base facilities will be restricted to essential activities, a joint statement by the Japanese government and U.S. forces in Japan said Sunday.

Over the past week through Monday morning, Japan had confirmed 32,081 new cases of the virus, up about tenfold from the preceding week. The country’s cumulative COVID-19 cases, including those among cruise ship passengers and crew members, stood at 1,767,434.

Japan’s cumulative death toll from the virus stood at 18,414, up by eight from a week earlier.

The pace of increase in new infections has accelerated amid the rapid spread in the country of the omicron variant.

By prefecture, Okinawa had the largest weekly number of COVID-19 cases at 6,665, about 25 times the preceding week’s total, followed by Tokyo at 4,654 and Osaka at 3,394. In airport quarantine checks, 1,026 infection cases were confirmed.

On Sunday, a total of 8,249 new cases were confirmed across Japan, with the daily count topping 8,000 for the second straight day. One new death linked to the virus was reported, while the nationwide number of seriously ill patients increased by one to 90.

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