• Staff report, Jiji, Kyodo

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 76 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up by 36 from a week before, with the daily tally topping 50 for the first time since Oct. 16.

The seven-day average of daily new positive cases was 44.9, up from 28.6 a week earlier.

The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms under the metropolitan government's criteria stood at one, down one from Tuesday. No new deaths were reported.

The Osaka Prefectural Government reported 61 new cases the same day, with the daily tally topping 60 for the first time since Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture said Wednesday that a record 80 people on the base had COVID-19.

The number of new infections in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere in Japan is rising, though overall cases remain relatively small.

Newly confirmed cases of the omicron variant included eight in Okinawa Prefecture, two each in Aichi and Yamaguchi prefectures and one each in Saitama and Fukuoka prefectures.

The health ministry said Wednesday that the number of severely ill coronavirus patients across the country rose by three from the previous day to 49.

On Tuesday, Japan confirmed 387 new cases of coronavirus infection.

Of those, 71 cases were detected during airport quarantine, while 51 cases were found in Osaka Prefecture.

Also Tuesday, one COVID-19 fatality each was reported in Tokyo and Ishikawa Prefecture.

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