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Once again, COVID-19 cases are surging across Japan, fueled in part by the newer, immunity-escaping omicron subvariant BA.5, raising concerns that the nation’s seventh wave has begun.

Nationwide, daily new infections topped 45,000 on Wednesday — nearly double the figure from last week and on par with the level seen in mid-May. The surge comes as people are planning summer holidays and large, in-person events have begun to return. At the same time, the number of ambulance calls due to heatstroke is growing.

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