Japan confirmed 18,889 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record high for the second consecutive day and topping 18,000 for the first time. The daily total was over 3,000 higher than Wednesday's record of 15,812.

Record-high daily figures were logged in 20 of Japan's 47 prefectures, including Osaka at 1,654, Saitama at 1,528 and Fukuoka at 1,040.

Aichi, Fukushima, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Nagano, Nagasaki, Niigata, Okayama, Okinawa, Saga, Shiga and Shizuoka also recorded record highs.

The number of seriously ill coronavirus patients across the nation grew by 72 from the previous day to 1,404, surpassing 1,400 for the first time since May 26. New COVID-19 deaths totaled 24.

Tokyo confirmed 4,989 new infection cases, its second-highest daily count after the 5,042 cases marked on Aug. 5. The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under the metropolitan government's standards rose by 21 from Wednesday to 218, exceeding 200 for the first time.

Of Thursday's new cases in Tokyo, people in their 20s accounted for 1,490, followed by 1,031 in their 30s, 865 in their 40s and 627 in their 50s. Those age 65 or over came to 161.

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