TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan surpassed 200,000 for the first time Saturday, at 200,975, eclipsing its previous record high of about 195,000 logged the previous day.
The daily tally hit a record high for the fourth straight day, with 17 of the country’s 47 prefectures logging the highest numbers amid the accelerating spread of the highly contagious BA.5 omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
The number of patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms rose by 12 from Friday to 203 across the country, the first figure at 200 or higher in three months, according to the health ministry. New deaths totaled 72, including nine each in Kanagawa, Osaka and Kumamoto prefectures.
In Tokyo alone, new infection cases came to 32,698, up 1.7-fold from a week before and topping 30,000 for the third straight day. The seven-day average of new cases stood at 23,068 in the Japanese capital, up 63.5 pct week on week, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government. The number of severely ill patients under Tokyo’s criteria dropped by one from Friday to 14.
New cases stood at 14,348 in Aichi Prefecture, almost doubling from a week before, and 22,501 in Osaka Prefecture, up 1.8-fold.