• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, up by seven from a week before, as Japan is seeing a gradual uptick in new cases amid new reports of infections with the omicron variant.

The seven-day average of daily cases in Tokyo came to 29.6, compared with 21.1 a week before.

The number of severely ill patients under the metropolitan government’s criteria fell by one from Wednesday to two. No deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the omicron variant was newly identified in 75 people in Japan, marking the highest daily domestic figure on record and bringing the total number of omicron cases in the country to 160.

While most of those cases were found at airport quarantine checks from those arriving from abroad, three cases of community transmission were reported in Osaka on Wednesday, and another case of community spread was confirmed in Kyoto on Thursday.

In the Osaka and Kyoto cases, infected people had no recent records of overseas travel and their infection routes could not be traced.

Across the nation on Wednesday, 262 new cases were reported, with the daily tally exceeding 250 for the first time in about a month and a half.

The nationwide number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms decreased by two from the previous day to 26 on Wednesday.

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