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Japan's daily COVID-19 tally hits record 250,000 cases

This file photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter shows high-rise buildings in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's daily coronavirus tally soared to a record 250,403 cases on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's new Cabinet faces the challenge of tackling the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid renewed concerns over a strain on the medical system.

    "We will move into a new phase toward" a life with COVID-19 without delay, Kishida said at a press conference after the new lineup for his Cabinet was announced the same day.

    Fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant, Japan's new COVID-19 cases topped 250,000 for the first time, exceeding the previous record of around 249,800 on Aug. 3.

    New coronavirus cases had been increasing since June and in mid-July, the figure more than doubled from a week before. The number of deaths and of people suffering from severe conditions has also been quickly rising.

    Out of Japan's 47 prefectures, 20 reported a record number of cases on Wednesday, while Tokyo reported 34,243 cases and Osaka and Aichi prefectures saw 23,730 and 18,862 cases, respectively.

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