• Staff report, Jiji

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Osaka Prefecture reported a record 2,586 new COVID-19 cases on Friday as Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures each logged fresh highs of 2,878 and 1,778, respectively.

Tokyo confirmed 5,405 new cases, topping the 5,000 mark for the third straight day.

The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo rose 13.6% from the week before to 4,721.9. The number of severely ill patients under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's criteria fell by one to 273. The metropolitan government also reported seven deaths linked to the coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Saitama Prefecture confirmed 1,824 cases, its second highest total on record. Aichi Prefecture reported a record 1,347 cases, with the daily tally topping 1,000 for the third consecutive day, along with five deaths linked to the virus. Hyogo Prefecture confirmed 907 cases, while Okinawa Prefecture marked 743 cases, a record for a Friday. Hokkaido saw 523 cases.

Japan's daily tally of new cases topped 25,000 for the first time on Thursday, marking a record for the second consecutive day.

The country reported 25,156 new cases, with 22 of the nation's 47 prefectures marking record highs. There were 28 new deaths from COVID-19 across the country on Thursday.

The number of patients with severe symptoms nationwide grew to 1,816 as of Thursday, up 51 from the day before, hitting a record high for the eighth straight day.

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