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The number of people in Japan with COVID-19 who have been instructed to stay home to recuperate stood at a record 118,035 as of Wednesday, topping 100,000 for the first time, the health ministry has said,

The total was up sixfold from 18,927 on July 28, the ministry announced Friday.

But since the latest tally does not include those in Saitama Prefecture due to a counting error, the actual number of people isolating at home is higher, sources familiar with the situation said.

According to the tally, the overall nationwide number of those infected with the virus stood at 192,673, including 24,247 who are currently hospitalized and 19,937 being treated at accommodation facilities.

A total of 2,802 people were waiting to be hospitalized.

By prefecture, not counting Saitama, Tokyo had the highest number of people isolating at home, at 25,045, followed by Kanagawa, with 15,203, Osaka, with 14,732, and Chiba, with 10,560.

An increasing number of COVID-19 patients staying home have died after their condition deteriorated rapidly while they were unable to be hospitalized due to a serious lack of hospital beds.

Meanwhile, the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients nationwide rose by 26 from the previous day to 2,000 on Friday, hitting a record high for the 15th straight day, the health ministry said.

The total reached the 2,000 mark for the first time, exceeding by far the 1,413 figure at the peak of the fourth wave of infections this spring.

On Friday, Japan confirmed 24,200 new cases, while fatalities linked to the virus came to 57.

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