Japan’s capital Tokyo on Saturday reported 949 new coronavirus cases, a highest daily spike since the beginning of the pandemic, according to local media.

The number surpassed the previous record of 888 cases registered on Friday, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing latest official data.

With 3,831 new infections, the total number of cases in the country reached 215,265. The death toll in Japan reached 3,200, as 64 more people died of the virus over the past day.

On Friday, Japan also confirmed its first five cases of a new strain of the virus among passengers returning from the UK.

These five people tested positive for the coronavirus at the airport after their arrival in Japan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 1.75 million lives in 191 countries and regions since last December.

Nearly 79.87 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 45.01 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of the number of cases.

While new restrictions imposed ahead of the holiday season, especially across Europe, countries are approving and procuring vaccines to end the pandemic.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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