• staff report, Jiji, Kyodo

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With a state of emergency looming, Japan on Tuesday recorded new record highs for COVID-19 infections, deaths related to the disease and the number of severe cases.

The nationwide tally of new cases was 4,913, while the single-day death toll linked to the virus reached 76, both record highs. Also on Tuesday, the number of patients with severe COVID-19 cases rose by 40 from the previous day to a record 771.

The previous daily record for nationwide cases was 4,520, marked on Thursday.

Tokyo confirmed 1,278 new infections, its second highest daily tally on record after the 1,337 cases reported on Dec. 31. The figure is also the highest for a Tuesday, after 856 cases were recorded on Dec. 29. The number of severely ill patients based on Tokyo’s standards rose to 111 on Tuesday, up by three from the previous day and the most on record for the capital. The cumulative number of infections in the capital stood at 64,752.

The news comes as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would make a decision Thursday about declaring a fresh state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures amid surge in infections.

Other prefectures neighboring Tokyo also reported record figures on Tuesday.

Kanagawa Prefecture reported a record 622 new cases, with the figure passing the 600 mark in the prefecture for the first time.

Saitama Prefecture reported 369 cases and Chiba Prefecture 261 cases, both record highs.

On Monday, cluster infections were confirmed at a high school run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, with a total of 45 students and staff members found to have tested positive for the virus.

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