• STAFF REPORT, KYODO

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Tokyo confirmed 294 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, marking the highest daily rise since Aug. 20, metropolitan government data showed.

The figure for new cases was based on 6,621 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of cases stood at 32,429, while the number of seriously ill patients was down by one at 36.

Of Saturday’s total, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new infections, at 81, followed by those in their 30s, at 55, and those in their 40s, at 48.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga warned Friday of signs of a resurgent spread of the coronavirus in Japan as colder weather drives more people indoors.

Urban areas have been seeing high numbers of infections lately, with the nationwide daily figure at 1,141 on Friday, a day after the country’s tally topped 1,000 for the first time since Aug. 21.

While urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka have continued to see high numbers, there have also been clusters of infections in Hokkaido and northeastern parts of Honshu.

Kanagawa Prefecture on Saturday reported an all-time high of 137 new coronavirus cases as well as three deaths.

Experts say this could be due to more people spending time in poorly ventilated rooms as temperatures drop.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference on Friday that the government was “sparing no effort” to curb further outbreaks and is working with local officials to boost virus testing in entertainment districts where many of the clusters have sprung up.

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