• Staff report, Jiji

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The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in Japan totaled 404 Friday, up by 117 from the day before, the health ministry said, while nine patients died.

The ministry's panel of experts said Thursday that the number of people with severe symptoms is increasing along with the surge of newly infected patients nationwide. Across the country, 49,854 new cases were reported on Friday, rewriting an all-time high for the fourth straight day.

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