TOKYO, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Tuesday confirmed 207 new cases of COVID-19, with infections topping the 200-mark again after retreating on Monday, although rising cases of seriously ill patients in the capital and Osaka has further stoked concerns about the virus' resurgence.
The Tokyo metropolitan government said that patients that are now designated as being in a "serious condition" stands at 31, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK.
This marks the first time the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients in the capital of 14 million has topped 30 since May, NHK noted.
"We will step up measures to prevent senior citizens from getting infected as they are more likely to develop serious symptoms," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said in a press briefing on the matter.
Meanwhile, in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, the second-hardest hit by the pandemic here, the number of patients listed as being in a "serious condition" more than doubled Tokyo's figure at 70 patients.
The latest figure for Tokyo follows 161 new COVID-19 infections confirmed on Monday and 260 on Sunday, according to the metropolitan government's figures.
Tokyo's cumulative total of infections has now risen to 18,082, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures, with the Tokyo metropolitan government maintaining its highest alert level on its four-tier scale meaning "infections are spreading."
This compares to the nationwide cumulative total that has surpassed 58,000 COVID-19 cases, with daily infections rising by about 900 Japan-wide on Wednesday, with the death toll now reaching past 1,100 people.
The Tokyo metropolitan government, for its part, has reiterated calls for Tokyo residents to refraining from traveling outside the prefecture during the holiday season, as well as refrain from dining out in groups, including small gatherings held in close proximity with others.
Establishments serving alcohol such as restaurants, bars and karaoke parlors have been requested to shorten their opening hours until the end of August and shut their doors at 10:00 p.m. in a bid to curb the further spread of the virus.
The metropolitan government has described the situation in the capital as "extremely severe," with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike saying that a Tokyo-specific state of emergency could be declared if the virus' resurgence continues to worsen.