• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported a record 570 new coronavirus cases on Friday, topping 500 for the first time since Nov. 21, while Aichi, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures also reported over 200 infections on the same day.

The number of seriously ill patients in Tokyo rose by one from the previous day to 61.

Of Friday's total, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new infections, at 147, followed by those in their 30s, at 120, and those in their 40s, at 76. Those age 65 or older came to 86.

The figure was based on 9,792 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of infections stood at 39,649.

Aichi recorded 234 new cases, a record for the prefecture, while Osaka and Kanagawa recorded 383 and 219, respectively.

On Thursday, the number of infections newly confirmed in Japan stood at 2,504, topping 2,000 for the first time in four days.

The death toll linked to the virus grew by 29 from the previous day to 2,078.

The new fatalities included a record daily high of 12 in Osaka Prefecture, seven in Hokkaido and three each in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients rose by 34 to 410, topping 400 for the first time, the health ministry said.

The 12 deaths in Osaka involved people in their 50s to 90s. Half of them were linked to clusters at hospitals and care facilities for the elderly.

New infection cases hit a record high in Kanagawa, at 254, Mie Prefecture, at 27, and Hyogo Prefecture, at 184.

In Miyagi Prefecture, Rifu Mayor Yutaka Kumagai tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the fourth municipal leader in the prefecture to have been infected with the virus.

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