TOKYO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 339 new COVID-19 cases, with daily infections in the capital topping 300 for the first time since Saturday.

The latest figure follows 186 cases confirmed on Wednesday and 207 new cases reported on Tuesday.

The number of patients in hospital designated as being in a "serious condition" rose from 32 to 36, the metropolitan government said the previous day.

This marks the third time the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients in the capital of 14 million has topped the 30-mark since May amid concerns over the the virus' contagiousness in urban areas.

The Tokyo metropolitan government has urged Tokyo residents to refrain from traveling outside the prefecture during the holiday season, as well as refrain from dining out in groups, including small gatherings held in close proximity with others, in a bid to curb the virus' spread.

Establishments serving alcohol such as restaurants, bars and karaoke parlors have been requested to shorten their opening hours until the end of August and shut their doors at 10:00 p.m. to combat the resurgence.

The metropolitan government has described the situation in the capital as "extremely severe," with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike saying that a Tokyo-specific state of emergency could be declared if the virus' resurgence continues to worsen.