Tokyo confirmed 2,001 new infection cases Friday, with record 334 cases involving people age 65 or older.

The number of severely ill patients counted under Tokyo’s criteria dropped by two to 133.

Among the new cases, people in their 20s made up the largest group at 458, followed by 355 for people in their 30s and 303 among people in their 40s.

The cumulative total came to 82,069, the metropolitan government said in a statement.

Tokyo’s daily figure comes after 17,000 tests, a record high daily figure, were conducted on Tuesday. It usually takes around three days for tests to produce results.

The rising numbers of new coronavirus cases and those with unclear infection routes in Tokyo may be indicating a possible explosive spread of infections in the Japanese capital, an expert said at a metropolitan government meeting on Thursday.

The daily number of new coronavirus infections averaged 1,698.9 in the week through Wednesday, up from 1,029.3 in the preceding week.

Reported at the meeting were many cases in which people in their 20s and 30s contracted the coronavirus at dinner meetings and other occasions, as well as cases of infections at family gatherings and year-end parties held by university students.

In Tokyo, the surging number of new infections and shortages of hospital beds are making it difficult to hospitalize coronavirus patients. Earlier this month, three infected people, including a man in his 80s with preexisting conditions, died in their homes.

As of Wednesday, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the capital stood at 3,266, against 4,000 hospital beds secured for coronavirus patients.

Tokyo Medical Association deputy head Masataka Inokuchi warned that the number of coronavirus patients who need to be hospitalized could rise to about 4,600 in a week and 7,000 in two weeks.

Japan reported 6,607 new coronavirus infection cases Thursday, marking a daily count above 6,000 for the first time in four days.

The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients rose by 20 from the previous day to a record 920, according to the health ministry.

The 11 prefectures under the government-declared state of emergency reported 5,266 cases, representing about 80% of the nationwide total.

The number of deaths linked to the virus grew by 11 to 714 in Osaka, exceeding Tokyo’s 707. The nationwide death toll increased by 66.

Miyagi and Chiba prefectures reported 87 and 488 new infection cases, respectively — both record highs.

The number of new cases stood at 985 in Kanagawa Prefecture, its second-highest daily count, and 341 in Fukuoka Prefecture, its first figure above 300 in five days. Osaka Prefecture saw 592 cases.

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