Japan on Wednesday reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, the highest level in over two months, with major metropolitan areas seeing a spike in infections which are putting renewed strain on their health care systems.

The nationwide figure exceeded the 3,000 level for the first time since Jan. 30, when the country's second state of emergency was in place for 11 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka.

In Osaka Prefecture, which declared a medical state of emergency Wednesday, a record 878 cases were reported, while neighboring Hyogo Prefecture saw an all-time high of 328 new cases.

Osaka Prefecture's declaration comes as Osaka's hospital bed occupancy rate for those in a serious condition nears 70%, with an increase in patients with severe symptoms expected to continue.

Tokyo, meanwhile, reported 555 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since early February, as the capital’s governor signaled preparations were under way for bolstered anti-virus measures.

The tally announced Wednesday in the capital is the largest since the second state of emergency was lifted last month.

Hyogo Prefecture's record high comes after it was put under quasi-emergency measures, along with Osaka and Miyagi prefectures, on Monday.

Other prefectures' daily figures included:

  • 158 in Saitama Prefecture
  • 155 in Okinawa Prefecture
  • 118 in Miyagi Prefecture
  • 118 in Kanagawa Prefecture
  • 76 in Chiba Prefecture
  • 72 in Hokkaido Prefecture

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