Photo/Illutration A hospital in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward is strained as it needs to treat patients requiring emergency care while dealing with surging COVID-19 cases. (Yuichiro Yoneda)

Tokyo confirmed 23,135 new COVID-19 cases on Aug. 15, up 5,251 from a week ago, marking the first week-on-week increase in 10 days.

The deaths of 14 patients in their 40s or older were also reported in the capital.

The daily average of new cases over the week through Aug. 15 in Tokyo was 26,379.1, or 84.7 percent of the average for the preceding week.

People in their 40s represented the largest age group of the new patients, at 4,454, followed by 4,298 in their 30s, 4,087 in their 20s and 3,220 in their 50s.

Additionally, 1,829 people aged 65 or older tested positive.

The occupancy rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in Tokyo was 59.8 percent, while 37.4 percent of hospital beds for severely ill patients were filled, officials said.

The Tokyo metropolitan government said it would consider asking the central government to declare a state of emergency for the capital if the occupancy rate of beds for seriously ill patients was between 30 and 40 percent.

The metropolitan government defines seriously ill patients as those requiring ventilators or ECMO heart-lung bypass machines.

Their number dropped by four from the previous day to 38 on Aug. 15.