TOKYO, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 236 new daily cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with the figure topping the 200-mark for the first time since Sunday.

The latest figure compares to 182 new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday and 95 new infections on Monday.

Tokyo's cumulative total has risen to 19,846 cases, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.

Tokyo residents have been asked to refrain from traveling outside the prefecture, as well as avoid 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.

They have been asked to shut their doors at 10:00 p.m. to limit the number of patrons drinking into the night as another means to try and limit the COVID-19 transmission.

Local authorities have said that the later people drink, the more likely their inhibitions will lower.

This can lead to people tending to stop wearing masks once intoxicated and forgetting to adhere to acceptable social distancing measures, they said.

The metropolitan government, despite some improvement in the infection rate recently, has described the COVID-19 situation in the capital of 14 million as "extremely severe" and has said that the "utmost caution is still required."

It has maintained its alert level at the highest on its four-tier scale meaning "infections are spreading."

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said a Tokyo-specific state of emergency could still be declared if the virus resurgence worsens.