Photo/Illutration Many pedestrians crowd the scramble crossing in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Jan. 9, the first weekend after a state of emergency was declared for the greater Tokyo area over the coronavirus pandemic. (Nobuo Fujiwara)

Tokyo reported 1,494 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 10, the first time in four days that the daily count dropped below 2,000, metropolitan health officials said. 

That follows a report that the overall death toll in Japan due to the novel coronavirus passed a grim milestone on Jan. 9, rising past 4,000 with 4,035 in total. 

That figure includes people who died from COVID-19 who were aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship off Yokohama in February.

The number of deaths passed 3,000 on Dec. 22. The latest figure means that 1,000 patients have died in the past 20 days as Japan sees a steep spike in new cases. 

The nation's death toll hit 1,000 on July 20 and reached the 2,000 mark on Nov. 22. 

In Tokyo, the number of serious cases on Jan. 10 dropped by one to 128. The capital designates these as requiring ventilators or an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, an ECMO lung bypass machine. 

Of the new cases, 403 were patients in their 20s, leading all age groups. They were followed by 261 patients in their 30s, 236 in their 40s and 201 in their 50s. Patients 65 or older accounted for 182.