• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Tokyo confirmed 759 COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the highest since late January and topping 500 for five straight days, while hot spot Osaka recorded 1,161, it’s fifth straight day over 1,000.

The figure in the capital comes after stricter virus counter measures were implemented Monday for its 23 wards and six cities. Saturday’s daily number is the highest since Jan. 30 when Tokyo reported 770 infections.

Tokyo’s daily coronavirus tally averaged 569 in the last week, up 24.1 % from the preceding week.

Among Saturday’s new cases in Tokyo, 239 people were in their 20s, 156 were in their 30s and 112 were in their 40s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 73 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria rose to 45 from 43 on Friday.

The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 129,540.

Along with its 1,161 cases, Osaka also recorded 12 deaths as Kansai struggles in the midst of a fourth wave of infections. Neighboring Hyogo Prefecture reported a new high of 541 cases on Saturday.

Other large case counts were logged in Kanagawa Prefecture, with 247 cases, Aichi, 230, Okinawa, 167, and Hokkaido, 109.

On Friday, the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Japan came to 4,532, surpassing the 4,000 mark for the third consecutive day.

Osaka reported 1,209 new coronavirus cases on the day, rewriting its daily record high.

The daily count of new cases also hit a record high in the prefectures of Niigata and Ishikawa, at 40 and 35, respectively.

Across the country, 46 new deaths were reported among infected people, including 16 in Osaka. The number of infected people with severe symptoms stood at 670, up 39 from the previous day.

In Osaka, the occupancy rate for hospital beds secured for severely ill patients with the coronavirus reached 102.2 %, as the number of such patients climbed to yet another record high of 274.

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