Weekly average of new COVID-19 cases declines across Japan

The number of new cases of the coronavirus is trending lower across Japan.

An NHK survey of local case counts shows that the seven-day average of new infections through Thursday was lower than the week before in all 47 prefectures.

The latest nationwide weekly average was 71 percent of the figure for the previous seven-day period. Case counts averaged about 156,900 per day.

The nationwide average has seesawed in August. It rose 2 percent in the week through August 11, but dropped 12 percent the following week. It then rose again by 18 percent, before turning to a decline in the final week through Thursday.

In Tokyo, the latest seven-day average was 65 percent of the figure for the previous week, marking the third consecutive week of decline. Case numbers averaged at around 15,000 in the most recent week.

In Osaka, the latest seven-day average stood at 67 percent of the figure for the week before, with a daily average of about 12,600.

Toho University Professor Tateda Kazuhiro, who is a member of the government's coronavirus advisory panel, says the seventh wave of infections appears to be peaking out. He says there were worries that infections may resurge after the Bon summer holidays, but the impact was limited.

Still, he warns that the number of new cases remains far higher than in the peak of the sixth wave, and adds that medical institutions are under heavy stress.