Japan confirmed 47,977 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, twice the number a week earlier and exceeding the 40,000 mark for the second day, as the country braces for a seventh wave of coronavirus infections amid a rebound.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said at a metropolitan government meeting that the capital "can be considered to have entered the seventh wave" as it confirmed 8,529 new cases on Thursday.

People wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus walk across the famous scramble crossing in Tokyo's Shibuya district on July 7, 2022. (Kyodo)

Tottori confirmed 219 daily infections, a record for the western Japan prefecture since the start of the pandemic, while Chiba Prefecture confirmed a daily count of 2,081. Osaka Prefecture reported 4,615 and Kanagawa Prefecture 3,130.

On Wednesday, Japan exceeded the 40,000 mark for the first time since May 18 with 45,821 new cases confirmed and higher case counts in each of the country's 47 prefectures.

However, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Thursday the central government is not considering imposing movement restrictions because local governments have not asked for a coronavirus quasi-state of emergency to be declared.

According to a June 30 analysis by an advisory panel of the health ministry, the majority of the newly infected were in their 30s or younger. In Tokyo, the same trend has continued in July, with people in their 20s accounting for the largest age group among the infected.

Although there is currently no significant increase in the number of severe cases, the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, which is spreading in Japan, is believed to have an increased ability to evade the immunity generated by infection or vaccines.

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