• staff report, Jiji

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Osaka confirmed 1,220 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, hitting another record high, with the tally topping 1,000 for the sixth straight day.

Tokyo confirmed 543 new COVID-19 infections the same day, topping 500 also for the sixth straight day, as the nation grapples with resurgence of infections amid rapid spread of coronavirus variants.

Tokyo's figure was higher than the previous two Sundays — 421 on April 11 and 355 on April 4. The new cases in the capital come after stricter virus countermeasures were implemented Monday for its 23 wards and six cities.

Tokyo’s daily coronavirus tally averaged 586.4 over the last week, up from 468.0 the preceding week.

Among Sunday's new cases in Tokyo, 145 people were in their 20s, 107 were in their 30s and 83 were in their 40s, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a statement. Those age 65 or older totaled 71 cases.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria was 45, the same as a day earlier. The cumulative number of cases in the capital is now 130,083.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Hyogo Prefecture reported 406 new cases and two deaths as the virus continues to surge in Kansai.

In Aichi Prefecture, 207 new cases were reported for its fifth straight day over 200. Hokkaido logged 98 cases while Okinawa recorded 92.

On Saturday, a total of 4,802 cases were confirmed nationwide, topping 4,000 for the fourth straight day. Saitama Prefecture saw 207 new cases, Chiba Prefecture reported 156, Kanagawa Prefecture reported 247 and Aichi Prefecture reported 230. In the four prefectures, the central government is set to adopt pre-emergency measures aimed at preventing a further viral spread from Tuesday to May 11. These prefectures will join Tokyo, Osaka and four other prefectures already on the list.

The nationwide death toll linked to the coronavirus rose by 41 on Saturday, while the number of severely ill patients increased by 32 from the previous day to 702.

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