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Tokyo reports 106 new coronavirus cases, topping 100 for 6th day in row

People wearing face masks walk in Tokyo's Shinjuku area on July 6, 2020.(Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Tuesday confirmed 106 new coronavirus infections in the capital, surpassing the 100 mark for the sixth straight day.

    Meanwhile, the total number of virus infections in Japan surpassed 20,000, excluding about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February, according to a Kyodo News tally of figures reported by local governments.

    Of Tokyo's 106 cases, 70 were in their 20s and 30s. The metropolitan government suspects 23 were either workers or customers of host clubs and other nighttime establishments.

    A total of 22 had contacts with patients of COVID-19 -- the respiratory disease caused by the virus -- at home and work, while 47 were infected with unknown routes, according to the Tokyo government.

    Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has requested residents to refrain from nonessential travel to other prefectures amid a growing concern over a second wave of infections.

    Tokyo makes up around a third of the total confirmed cases in the country.

    On Tuesday, Koike said the metropolitan government plans to extend financial assistance to nightclubs and other facilities in Ikebukuro, a major commercial and entertainment district in Tokyo, if they suspend operations at authorities' request after incurring group infections.

    The number of confirmed cases has risen recently in Ikebukuro, together with the Kabukicho area, famous for various types of nightclubs, in the Shinjuku district.

    On Monday, the metropolitan government reported 102 cases, following 111 cases the previous day. The capital experienced the most substantial daily increase in two months of 131 cases on Saturday.

    Tokyo has been battling to stem a rebound in infections since a nationwide state of emergency was lifted in late May. The pace of increase in virus infections in Japan had slowed as new cases in the capital peaked out after hitting 206 on April 17.

    The number of critically ill coronavirus patients has been decreasing from a high of over 100 cases at the end of April through the beginning of May, to up to 10 in July, according to the metropolitan government.

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