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Japan logs record daily coronavirus deaths at 145

Commuters wearing face masks walk in a passageway during a rush hour at Shinagawa Station on April 26, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan reported a record 145 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday as the country battles a "fourth wave" of infections that shows no signs of stopping.

    The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms also hit an all-time high, increasing by 33 from the previous day to 1,131.

    The nationwide tally of daily cases exceeded 6,000, the highest since mid-January when a second state of emergency was in place.

    The Japanese government on Friday decided to expand the current third state of emergency beyond Tokyo and the greater Osaka area, and to extend it to May 31 in an effort to bring down infections and ease the strain on hospitals.

    Record daily infections were reported in nine prefectures including Fukuoka and Aichi, both of which will be covered by the state of emergency from Wednesday.

    Osaka Prefecture saw 1,005 new infections, while Tokyo reported 907.

    Osaka also reported 50 deaths, believed to be the highest daily number ever recorded in a Japanese prefecture since the start of the pandemic.

    The state of emergency has been in effect in Tokyo, which is set to host the Summer Olympics in less than three months, as well as Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures since April 25.

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