• Staff report, Jiji, Kyodo

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Japan confirmed 5,869 new infections with the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its cumulative number of cases, including cruise ship passengers and crew members, to 304,764.

The total is rising at an accelerating pace, topping 300,000 only some three weeks after surpassing 200,000 on Dec. 21. Saturday will mark a year since Japan’s first novel coronavirus case was confirmed.

The national death toll linked to COVID-19 grew by a daily record of 97 to 4,289. The number of severely ill patients also hit a record of 900, up 19 from the previous day.

Tokyo reported 1,433 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as Japan’s cumulative total of coronavirus cases topped 300,000.

Among the daily total in Tokyo, 187 cases involved people age 65 or older while the number of severely ill patients, based on the city’s standards, came to 141, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Among the new cases, people in their 20s made up the largest group at 394, followed by 275 for people in their 30s and 202 among people in their 40s.

The cumulative number of infections in the capital stood at 78,566.

Last week, the government issued a fresh COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa. Kanagawa saw 906 infection cases Tuesday, its second-highest daily count.

Tokushima and Saga prefectures also logged record numbers the same day, at 35 and 32.

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