Tokyo reported 206 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, above 200 for the second straight day, amid a relatively large number of infections in urban areas and tourist spots in Japan as the summer holidays peak.
Eleven people were confirmed dead, marking the first time since May 28 that deaths per day surpassed 10. The capital, which has the largest number of infections in the country, maintained its alert at the highest of four levels, meaning "infections are spreading," and its benchmark for health services delivery at the second-highest level, indicating it needs to be strengthened.
The southern island prefecture of Okinawa, a popular destination for vacationers, also raised its four-stage alert to the highest level, signaling "infections are becoming rampant," and extended its declaration of an emergency until Aug. 29.
"The spread of the virus continues to be severe," Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki said in a press conference held the same day that the prefectural government reported 97 new cases.
In late July, Okinawa declared an emergency from Aug. 1 to Saturday. Okinawa had 30.32 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the week ending Aug. 5, the highest level in the country and nearly double Tokyo's 17.41.
Elsewhere, infections were also high in Fukuoka Prefecture as well as Aichi and Osaka prefectures.
Tokyo, which has a population of nearly 14 million, saw a daily record of 472 reported cases earlier this month.
The daily figures reflect the most recent totals reported by health authorities and medical institutions.
There were more than 1,100 new cases nationwide on Thursday, topping the 1,000 line for the first time since Aug. 9. The cumulative total stood at more than 53,000, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. The nationwide death toll stood at 1,090.
Tokyo's cumulative total of virus cases now stands at more than 16,600.
Average daily new infections in Tokyo over the last seven days stood at 290.7, dropping below 300 for the first time since July 31. But the long weekend and Bon holiday season are likely to have affected the number of tests conducted in recent days.
Cases involving people in their 20s and 30s fell to around half of infections, while those in their 60s and above accounted for around 15 percent.
Tokyo has requested that residents refrain from traveling, including to hometowns during the Bon holiday season, and that karaoke venues and establishments serving alcohol close by 10 p.m. until the end of August.
Osaka reported 177 new cases, topping 100 for the 10th straight day, while Aichi confirmed 109 new cases and Fukuoka confirmed 143 new infections.