• Staff report, Jiji

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New COVID-19 cases in Japan totaled 3,431 on Friday, topping the 3,000 mark for the third consecutive day.

Tokyo’s tally alone came to 1,271 on Friday, a day after the daily figure rose above 1,300 for the first time in about six months. Friday’s figure in Tokyo, in excess of 1,000 for the third consecutive day, rose from the 822 marked a week before, surpassing the week-before level for the 27th straight day.

Daily new infections in the capital averaged 946.3 in the week to Friday, compared with 686.7 the previous week.

The number of people severely ill with COVID-19 under the metropolitan government’s criteria stood at 53, down four from Thursday. The capital also reported one coronavirus-linked death.

“I think the speed (of increase) is very rapid,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters. “I want people to consider again the option of working remotely, in view of a large number of infections at workplaces.”

Kanagawa Prefecture reported 446 cases and one death, while Saitama Prefecture logged 290 cases and one death and Chiba Prefecture confirmed 277 cases and one death.

Hokkaido saw 73 cases and one death, and Okinawa Prefecture reported 76 cases. Osaka Prefecture reported 254 cases, its fourth straight day over 200, along with three deaths.

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