• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Tokyo confirmed 215 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, the metropolitan government said, registering 200-plus infections for the third straight day.

The figure was based on 4,985 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally stood at 31,096, while the number of seriously ill patients jumped by two to 33.

Of Saturday’s total, people in their 30s made up the largest group of new infections, with 51, followed by those in their 20s, at 42, and those in their 40s, at 36.

On Friday, Japan confirmed 776 new cases, with the daily count topping 700 for the third consecutive day. The country also saw six new deaths linked to the virus, while Hokkaido saw a record daily high of 69 new cases, including 35 in Sapporo. According to the Sapporo municipal government, new infection clusters occurred at three locations, including an eating and drinking establishment in the Susukino nightlife district.

Meanwhile, in Saitama Prefecture, 61 people tested positive for the virus Friday, including 38 at an elderly care facility in the city of Asaka. The total number of infections involving the facility hit 57.

The latest figures came after the cumulative number of people who tested positive for the new coronavirus in Japan rose above 100,000 on Thursday.

The number topped 50,000 nearly seven months after the first infection case in the country was confirmed on Jan. 16, and the pace of infections accelerated later, with the country seeing an increase of 50,000 cases in only about two and a half months. The nationwide figure topped 90,000 on Oct. 11, meaning that about 10,000 new cases were confirmed in just less than three weeks.

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