Photo/Illutration The Tokyo metropolitan government building in Shinjuku, the command center to grapple with the novel coronavirus in the capital. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Tokyo reported 986 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Jan. 24, the first time in 12 days for the daily figure to drop below the 1,000-level, the metropolitan government said.

The last time new cases of the novel coronavirus were within three digits was Jan. 12, when 970 were reported.

However, the latest finding shows that the virus is spreading fast among people 65 or older, an age group that is most vulnerable to the disease.

The number of patients in this age bracket was 260, the largest of any age group.

There were 191 patients in their 20s, followed by 148 in their 50s, 143 in their 30s and 125 in their 40s.

The number of serious cases stood at 156, the same as the day before. Tokyo defines serious cases as patients requiring ventilators or an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device, which circulates blood through an artificial lung.