• STAFF REPORT, JIJI, KYODO

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Tokyo confirmed 352 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the metropolitan government said, topping 300 for the fourth consecutive day.

The figure for Saturday was based on 6,244 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of cases stood at 34,496. The number of seriously ill patients also rose by two to 41 — the highest figure since May 24, according to metropolitan government data.

Of Saturday’s total, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new infections, at 103, followed by those in their 30s, at 76, and those in their 50s, at 44.

Japan confirmed 1,704 new cases on Friday, topping the previous record high of 1,660 marked a day earlier, with health experts warning of a possible “third wave” of infections as the winter season approaches.

The number of new cases has increased in urban areas as well as the country’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, a popular tourist spot that recorded more than 200 cases for the second day in a row on Friday. Daily records for infections were also recorded Friday in Osaka Prefecture, at 263, Nagano Prefecture, at 23, and Iwate Prefecture, at 13. The daily count in Ibaraki Prefecture matched its all-time high of 26, which it hit on Thursday.

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