The Tokyo metropolitan government said new cases of novel coronavirus infections fell below 1,000 for the first time in around eight months, slipping to 799 on Sunday with concern receding about an eighth wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

The fall comes as the Japanese government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, which have been imposed since early 2020, toward the normalization of social and economic activities in the country.

People wearing face masks walk across scramble crossing in Tokyo's Shibuya district, on Jan. 27, 2023. (Kyodo)

The capital reported that the hospital bed occupancy rate by COVID-19 patients was 31.2 percent on Sunday in Tokyo, while the number of deaths was eight.

Across the nation, Japan saw 13,203 newly confirmed cases on Sunday, down more than half compared to the week before, according to health authorities.

In Japan, the Kishida administration has recently decided to ease coronavirus guidelines on mask-wearing from mid-March and loosen medical rules on COVID-19.