TOKYO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 480 to reach 79,260 as of Sunday evening, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.
The figure excludes 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.
The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 1,520, with four new fatalities announced Sunday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The health ministry also said there are currently 159 patients considered severely ill with ventilators or in intensive care units.
In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 162 new cases were reported on Sunday, exceeding 100 for the sixth straight day, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 24,208, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.
On Saturday, Japan relaxed a rule limiting the size of crowds at professional sports matches, movie theaters and other events, in an effort to gradually restore social and economic activities to pre-pandemic levels.