Japan's confirmed daily coronavirus cases Friday topped 49,000, setting a new record for the fourth consecutive day as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the country.
Of the total, Tokyo confirmed 9,699 daily cases, eclipsing the previous record high of 8,638 logged the previous day, while the Osaka prefectural government also hit a fresh high of 6,254.
As the rapid spread of infections raises concern about the strain on the medical system, a quasi-state of emergency was widened to Tokyo and 12 other prefectures for three weeks beginning Friday, allowing their governors to ask restaurants and bars to close early and stop or limit the serving of alcohol.
Many areas have been struggling with what has become the country's sixth wave of infections. Japan's cumulative total of COVID infections exceeded 2 million on Thursday.