• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 577 new COVID-19 cases Friday, with the daily count in the capital standing below 1,000 for the eighth straight day.

Under the metropolitan government’s standards, the number of severely ill patients with the coronavirus rose by two from the previous day to 117.

Of the new cases, 107 were in their 20s, and there were 83 each among those in their 30s and 40s. People age 65 or older accounted for 145 cases.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 102,777. Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 10,208 tests were conducted Tuesday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

The cumulative number of novel coronavirus infection cases in Japan, including among cruise ship passengers and crew members, topped 400,000 on Thursday. The cumulative figure exceeded the threshold about three weeks after exceeding the 300,000 mark on Jan. 13.

On Thursday, Japan confirmed 2,576 new infection cases, with the daily count slipping below 3,000 for the fifth successive day. The country’s new COVID-19 fatalities totaled 104, including 25 in Tokyo. The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients fell by five from Wednesday to 892, according to the health ministry.

The cumulative infection number in Japan reached 100,000 on Oct. 29 last year, about nine months after the country’s first case of the virus was confirmed on Jan. 16 that year. The number rose above 200,000 about two months later, on Dec. 21, and topped 300,000 only 23 days later.

According to the health ministry, a novel coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa was detected from a woman in her 50s and a man in the age group of 10 to 19 in Kanagawa Prefecture. The woman has visited Africa and the man had close contact with her.

Neither of them has developed severe symptoms. It was the first time that a variant infection case had been confirmed in Kanagawa.

The cumulative number of variant cases in Japan rose to 70.

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