Photo/Illutration People wearing face masks enjoy blooming cherry blossoms from paddle boats in Tokyo on March 29. (AP Photo)

Tokyo on March 29 marked the 10th consecutive day when the number of new COVID-19 cases exceeded the week-earlier level, an indication the fourth wave of novel coronavirus infections has started.

The capital confirmed 234 new cases, up 47 from the 187 reported on March 22. It was the first Monday for the figure to surpass 200 since Feb. 15, when 266 new cases were reported.

The daily average for the week through March 29 reached 357.7 cases, or 118.1 percent of the average for the preceding week.

Of the 234 new patients, 54 were in their 20s, the largest age group, followed by 36 in their 40s and 31 each in their 30s and 50s.

There were 54 new patients aged 65 or older.

The number of serious cases stood at 40, down one from the previous day. Tokyo defines serious cases as those requiring a ventilator or an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device, which circulates blood through an artificial lung.

The state of emergency was lifted on March 22 for the capital and three surrounding prefectures.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has been increasing in Osaka and other prefectures.