• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo reported 420 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily figure so far this month.

The daily total surpassed 400 for only the second time in March, after the capital recorded 409 cases last Wednesday. Tokyo logged 337 cases Tuesday.

In Osaka Prefecture, the daily count of new cases came to 262, rising above 200 for the first time since Feb. 5 and hitting the highest level since the prefecture exited a state of emergency over the pandemic early this month.

The northeastern prefecture of Miyagi recorded 171 new coronavirus cases, a local record high and 50 more than Tuesday's 121.

Nationwide, 1,918 new coronavirus cases were logged on Wednesday, as well as 21 new deaths among infected people, including six in Tokyo.

The number of severely ill coronavirus patients increased by eight from the previous day to 328.

Among Wednesday’s new cases in Tokyo, 89 were detected in people in their 20s, while 62 people were in their 30s and 55 were in their 40s. Those age 65 or older totaled 103 cases, the largest age group among those infected.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria remained unchanged from a day before at 42.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 118,461. The results came after 1,898 tests were conducted Sunday. It usually takes about three days for test results to affect the daily case count.

Meanwhile, the health ministry said Wednesday that coronavirus variants were newly detected in 150 people across the country in the week through Tuesday, up from 128 in the preceding week.

A total of 549 cases of coronavirus variants have been found in Japan. Of them, the British variant accounts for 501 cases.

By prefecture, the number of variant cases rose by 67 from the previous week to 161 in the western prefecture of Hyogo and by 33 to 105 in Osaka.

On Tuesday, Japan confirmed 1,503 new coronavirus cases and 53 deaths from the virus, 18 of which were recorded in Tokyo.

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