TOKYO: The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed on Wednesday 55 new COVID-19 cases in the capital, topping 50 for the first time in Tokyo since early May, with the total now standing at 5,895 cases.
The spike in COVID-19 cases in the capital has triggered concerns about a broader resurgence of infections in Japan, with the rise coming after the government lifted its COVID-19 induced state of emergency declaration on May 25.
The latest uptick in cases in the city of around 14 million people also follows the government last Friday completely lifting its travel restrictions, with the move met by a surge in passengers returning to airports and train stations.
Prior to the lifting of travel restrictions, the government had requested that people continue to refrain from making unnecessary trips across prefectural borders.
In particular, people were urged not to travel to and from Tokyo, the epicenter of the pandemic here, and prefectures surrounding the capital including Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa Prefecture.
The request was also made for people to refrain from traveling to or from Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture, amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases there at the time.
Wednesday's spike in COVID-19 cases, the Tokyo metropolitan government said, included 41 people aged in their twenties and thirties, accounting for around 75 percent of the total, with 23 of the new cases having no known infection route.
A significant portion of the new infections were also confirmed to be connected to a virus-hit entertainment area in Tokyo's Shinjuku district, the Tokyo metropolitan government also said.
"It is an example of how group infections can occur at a workplace. I want people to reconfirm their way of working in accordance with measures against the coronavirus," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told a press briefing on the matter.
The Tokyo metropolitan government last Friday also lifted its remaining business restrictions on nightclubs and live music venues and allowed the number of people attending large-scale, outdoor events like concerts to be increased to 1,000.
Indoor venues, meanwhile, are now allowed to permit entrance to numbers of people totaling half the venue's capacity.
Japan's cumulative number of COVID-19 infections now stands at 18,124, excluding those related to a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama.
The total death toll has risen to 969 people, 325 of whom have died in Tokyo, according to the latest figures Wednesday from the health ministry and local authorities.