• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 449 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, after infections topped 500 for two days in a row.

The number of severe COVID-19 infections fell by one from the previous day to 53, declining for four consecutive days.

The daily figure was based on 7,443 tests, the metropolitan government said in a statement.

Among the new cases, those in their 20s had the highest number at 107, followed by those in their 30s at 91 and people in their 40s at 80. Infections among those 65 or older totaled 63.

Friday’s figure brought the capital’s cumulative total of coronavirus infections to 42,793.

The nation’s newly confirmed cases totaled 2,518 on Thursday, exceeding 2,500 for the first time since Saturday, when the daily count hit a record 2,679.

The number of severely ill patients with the coronavirus, responsible for the COVID-19 respiratory disease, increased by nine from the previous day to a record high of 497, according to the health ministry.

The country recorded 36 deaths from the virus, the second-highest for a single day. The new fatalities included 11 in Hokkaido Prefecture and eight in Osaka Prefecture.

By prefecture, the daily number of new infections on Thursday rose to the highest level on record in the central prefecture of Gifu, at 42, the southwestern prefecture of Oita, at 18, and the western prefectures of Hiroshima, Nara and Kochi, at 46, 39 and 15, respectively.

In Hokkaido, 206 new coronavirus cases were reported, with the daily count topping 200 for the first time in two days.

The prefecture of Hyogo logged 172 new cases, its second-highest figure. Osaka confirmed 386 new cases.

In the central prefecture of Shizuoka, 64 people tested positive, with the hospital bed occupancy rate in the prefecture’s central areas reaching 80%.

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