• STAFF REPORT, JIJI

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 28 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, with the daily total rising by nine from a week earlier.

The seven-day average of daily infection figures stood at 21.6, up from 18.4 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.

On Friday, Japan confirmed 183 new cases of the virus and no COVID-linked deaths. The number of severely ill coronavirus patients nationwide fell by one from Thursday to 26.

The metropolitan government said Friday 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.

On Friday, the health ministry said that the omicron variant has been detected in 13 people who were found to be coronavirus positive after arriving Japan from abroad.

The 13 entered Japan between Dec. 10 and Tuesday, with recent history of travel to the United States, Britain and the Congo.

The cumulative number of omicron cases confirmed in Japan rose to 50, including one linked to a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture.

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