• Staff report, Jiji

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Osaka hit a fresh record for daily COVID-19 cases Friday as Tokyo confirmed 667, a day after the capital logged a two-month high of 729.

Osaka Prefecture reported 1,209 cases, while Hyogo Prefecture also set a record with 510.

Friday's figure in the capital is significantly higher than the 537 new cases reported last Friday, and the upward trend follows that of Osaka and its neighbors.

The government is expected to add three prefectures neighboring Tokyo — Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa — and Aichi Prefecture to the list of areas in need of stricter measures to curb a rebound in coronavirus infections.

The seven-day average of daily infection figures in Tokyo came to 542, compared with 440.9 in the previous week.

Of the newly infected people in Tokyo, 200 were in their 20s, 132 were in their 30s, 119 were in their 40s and 69 were 65 or older.

The number of severely ill patients under the metropolitan government's standards rose by six from the previous day to 43.

On Thursday, the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Japan came to 4,576, exceeding 4,000 for the second successive day.

The western prefecture of Osaka logged a record 1,208 new cases, marking its third straight day with over 1,000 new cases.

Across the country, 35 new deaths were reported among infected people, while the number of severely ill patients with the coronavirus rose by 23 from the previous day to 631.

In Osaka, the number of severely ill patients climbed to a record 261, exceeding its 224 hospital beds for such patients. Some severely ill patients were treated at hospitals designated for patients with milder symptoms.

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