The death toll from coronavirus infections climbed to over 6,000 Wednesday in Japan, increasing the pace of rise amid concerns over the strain on the country's medical system, a tally based on data released by authorities showed.

The death toll hit 4,000 on Jan. 9 before rising to 5,000 in two weeks. Meanwhile, the number of patients with severe symptoms fell to about 900 on Wednesday, down 40 from the previous day, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

People wearing face masks walk in Tokyo's Shinjuku area on Feb. 2, 2021. Japan extended the coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo and other regions the same day by one month to March 7 in view of manpower-strapped hospitals. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

As for infections, around 2,600 cases were newly reported nationwide, including 676 in Tokyo. The count in the capital stayed below the 1,000 mark for the sixth straight day.

Tokyo reported a record 2,447 daily cases on Jan. 7, the day a state of emergency was declared in the capital and three neighboring prefectures. The emergency declaration was later expanded to other areas.

Since then, the figure for Tokyo has trended downward. Although the seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen below 1,000, it remains high as a three-digit figure.

The capital also continues to face the risk of a medical system collapse and there have been reports of people dying of COVID-19 at home due to a lack of available hospital beds.

The capital's cumulative cases now stand at 101,466.

The Japanese government announced Tuesday it is extending the state of emergency in Tokyo and nine other prefectures for up to another month through March 7, urging people to refrain from nonessential outings and restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m.