• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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Japan’s daily total of COVID-19 cases surpassed 12,000 on Saturday, a record figure for the fourth straight day, triggering concerns about an explosive surge in infections while the Olympics are held in the capital.

Tokyo confirmed 4,058 new cases, topping the 4,000 threshold for the first time a day after the government announced it would extend a state of emergency in the capital and Okinawa Prefecture and add four more prefectures.

The caseload came a day after the capital saw 3,300 new infections and surpassed the record of 3,865 cases set just two days ago. Saturday’s figure, up from the 1,128 cases reported a week before, also comes after the nation’s daily tally topped 10,000 for the second day in a row on Friday as the delta variant of the virus continues to wreak havoc across the country.

The seven-day average of new cases in the capital came to 2,920.0 cases, compared with 1,345.7 a week earlier.

The number of severe COVID-19 cases under the metropolitan government’s criteria rose by seven from the previous day to 95. The capital also reported three coronavirus-linked deaths.

The country’s fourth state of emergency — which is currently active in Tokyo and Okinawa prefectures until Aug. 22 — will be extended to Aug. 31. Quasi-emergency measures will take effect Monday in Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures and also last until the end of August.

In the Kanto area, the three other prefectures set to join Tokyo under the new state of emergency all reported single-day record caseloads: Kanagawa marked 1,580, Chiba posted 792 infections and Saitama logged 1,037.

Single-day records were also set in:

  • Okinawa, with 439 infections
  • Kyoto, with 199 cases
  • Gunma, which saw 136 infections
  • Niigata, with 58 cases

Elsewhere, Osaka saw 1,040 cases and Hyogo reported 329 infections, while the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido reported 284 cases and Aichi confirmed 287 infections.

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