Wed, 28 Oct 2020

TOKYO, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 601 to 78,782 as of Saturday evening, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.

The figure excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.

The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 1,514, with two new fatalities announced Saturday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The health ministry also said there are currently 161 patients considered severely ill with ventilators or in intensive care units.

In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 218 new cases were reported on Saturday, exceeding 200 for the second straight day, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 24,046, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.

Last week, the Tokyo metropolitan government lowered its coronavirus alert by one notch on its four-tier scale as weekly infections have marked a downward trend. The second-highest level, where the alert level now stands, means "caution is necessary" against a resurgence of virus infections.

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