• Staff report, Jiji


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 20 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, with the daily total declining by five from a week earlier.

The seven-day average of daily infection figures stood at 20.4, up from 18.3 a week before.

The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under the metropolitan government’s criteria came to three, unchanged from the previous day. No death was reported among those infected.

The metropolitan government also said the same day that two people have been confirmed to be infected with the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

They include a man who had close contact with a woman in her 20s who had already tested positive for the variant. The man attended the Emperor’s Cup semifinal soccer match at Todoroki Athletics Stadium in Kawasaki on Sunday as a spectator.

The other patient arrived in Japan from abroad on Dec. 11, tested negative at airport checks, but felt sick the following day.

The health ministry said Friday the number of severely ill coronavirus patients stood at 26, down by one from the previous day.

On Thursday, Japan reported 190 new cases and three COVID-19 fatalities.

A total of 36 new cases were reported in Kanagawa Prefecture and 26 were reported at airport quarantine.

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