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Japan on 'maximum alert' as third wave brings record COVID cases

Prime minister asks people to wear masks when conversing, even during meals

Tokyo reported nearly 500 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone, a new record for the capital. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- Japan recorded more than 2,000 coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time on Wednesday, shattering its daily record as the outbreak accelerates. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged caution saying the country is on "maximum alert."

A total of 2,191 cases had been confirmed as of 10 p.m., well above the previous high of 1,720 cases on Saturday. Tokyo logged a new high of 493, with the nearby prefectures of Kanagawa and Saitama reporting record numbers as well, while Osaka saw more than 200 new infections for a second straight day.

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