• Staff report, Kyodo, Jiji

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in Japan totaled 15,812 on Wednesday, topping the previous record of 15,753 reported on Saturday, according to a Kyodo News tally.

Tokyo reported 4,200 new cases on Wednesday as the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients under the capital’s criteria jumped by 21 to hit a record 197, surpassing the previous high of 176 marked the previous day.

Some government officials have said it will be impossible to lift the state of emergency at the end of this month as planned as a surge in new infections shows no sign of slowing.

The seven-day average of new infections in the capital came to 3,983.6, up from 3,478.7 a week before, according to the metropolitan government. The metropolitan government also reported two deaths linked to the virus.

Elsewhere, Osaka Prefecture confirmed 1,490 cases — a record high — while Okinawa Prefecture saw 638 cases and Hyogo Prefecture reported 608, both the second-highest on record. Aichi Prefecture reported 516 cases, with the daily tally topping 500 for the first time since mid-May, and Hokkaido confirmed 351 cases.

Shizuoka Prefecture reported 288 cases, Nara Prefecture 138, Mie Prefecture 111 and Kagoshima Prefecture 108, all record highs.

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