TOKYO: The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Japan topped four million on Tuesday, growing by one million in only some two weeks amid the spread of the highly infectious omicron strain of the novel coronavirus.
The cumulative infection number exceeded one million in August last year and reached two million on Jan. 20. The figure topped three million on Feb. 3 and stood at 4,071,317 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Japan confirmed 84,221 new positive cases. Five prefectures including Tochigi and Aichi logged record-high daily infection figures.
The daily number of new COVID-19 fatalities came to 236 across the country, hitting a new record high. The daily figure, including 42 in Osaka and 28 in Aichi, exceeded 200 for the first time since May 18 last year, when the city of Kobe reported 121 cases all at once that had not previously been announced.
The nationwide number of severely ill COVID-19 patients increased by 10 from the previous day to 1,403.
In Tokyo and some other prefectures, there are signs indicating that new cases may have peaked out.
Tokyo reported 15,525 new cases, down by 1,588 from a week before and marking the seventh straight day of week-on-week decline.
Meanwhile, Osaka confirmed 12,597 new cases, with the effective occupancy rate for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients there standing at 40.4 pct, exceeding the 40 pct cited by Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura to request the central government to declare a state of emergency.