• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 440 new coronavirus infections Friday while Osaka Prefecture posted 613 cases, with its daily figure exceeding that of Tokyo for four days in a row and topping 600 for the second consecutive day.

Large daily figures were also reported in Hyogo Prefecture, with 174 cases, and Aichi Prefecture, with 145 — its first time over 140 since Jan. 29.

The seven-day average of cases in the capital came to 381.4, compared to the average of 330.3 the previous week.

Among Friday's new cases in Tokyo, 115 people were in their 20s, 78 were in their 40s and 63 each were in their 30s and 50s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 61 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria came to 43.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 121,901.

On Thursday, Japan confirmed 2,606 new cases of novel coronavirus infection, with the daily count standing above 2,000 for the third straight day.

In Hyogo Prefecture, new cases totaled 199. Miyagi Prefecture confirmed 133 new cases, with its daily count exceeding 100 for three days in a row.

On Thursday, the government decided to implement new countermeasures in some areas of Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures in order to prevent their coronavirus infection situations from deteriorating to a point requiring the declaration of a state of emergency.

New COVID-19 fatalities totaled 18 across the country, while the number of severely ill patients fell by two to 380 as of Thursday.

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