Wed, 27 Jan 2021

TOKYO, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 2,433 to reach 158,402 as of Friday night, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.

The figure excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.

The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 2,314, with 40 new fatalities announced Friday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The health ministry also said there are currently 505 patients considered severely ill with ventilators or in intensive care units, hitting a fresh record-high since the onset of the outbreak.

In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 449 new cases were reported on Friday, exceeding 400 for the third straight day, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 42,793, the highest among the country's 47 prefectures.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday that the government is tackling the latest resurgence in COVID-19 infections with a "strong sense of crisis", adding that an increase in the number of severely ill patients has started to put a strain on hospitals.

Suga also called on the public to continue taking basic precautions to curb the spread of the coronavirus including wearing masks and washing hands.

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