• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Tokyo confirmed 876 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday — the most since Jan. 28 — as the government was set to put the capital and Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures under a fresh state of emergency to fight a resurgence of infections.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Hyogo Prefecture reported a record 635 cases and neighboring Osaka Prefecture saw 1,067 cases, topping 1,000 for the fifth straight day. The surging caseload comes just ahead of the new emergency declaration, which is scheduled to run from Sunday until May 11.

The figure in the capital was higher than the 759 cases reported last Saturday, while the seven-day average of new cases there came to 714, compared to 569 the week before.

People age 65 or over, who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms, accounted for 104. The number of severely ill patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from Friday to 51.

On Friday, 5,109 new cases were confirmed nationwide, with the daily count rising above 5,000 for the third consecutive day. New cases in Hyogo Prefecture hit a record high of 567, topping 500 for the third day in a row. Neighboring Osaka Prefecture, meanwhile, reported 1,162 new infection cases, with its daily count topping 1,000 for the fourth straight day. New COVID-19 cases totaled 759 in Tokyo and 130 in Kyoto Prefecture, which neighbors Hyogo and Osaka.

Deaths linked to the virus totaled 56 on Friday and the number of severely ill patients rose by 11 from Thursday to 816.

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