Tokyo, Aug 14 (IANS) Japan's daily Covid-19 cases topped the 20,000 mark for the first time since the onset of the pandemic early last year, while Tokyo also reported a record high number if single-day infections, according to the government.
The latest figures increased the country's overall case tally to 1,087,779, while the death toll stood at 15,358.
The 5,773 new infections confirmed in Tokyo on Friday is the second time the daily figure topped 5,000, reports Xinhua news agency.
The new cases in Tokyo surpassed the previous high of 5,042 logged a week earlier.
The number of severe cases in Tokyo also rose to a new record to 227 from the previous high of 218 logged earlier in the week.
The seven-day rolling average of infections for Tokyo also increased to 4,155.7 per day, rising 8.8 per cent from the previous week.
Japan's number of Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms also rose to the highest-ever 1,478 nationwide, exceeding the previous record of 1,413 recorded in late May, the Health Ministry said.
The recent surge comes at the peak of the summer holiday season.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called on residents not to travel to other prefectures.
"We are now facing the biggest crisis since the pandemic began, which amounts to a disaster. We want to ask everyone to act to protect their own lives," Koike said in a statement on Friday.
Since mid-July, severe cases of COVID-19 patients have increased rapidly across Japan.
Due to the slow progress of the country's vaccination campaign, such severe cases have risen among those in their 40s and 50s mainly in Tokyo, and among patients, young generations have also been found with serious symptoms, which are defined as those with the demand of assistance by ventilators, artificial heart-lung bypass devices or treatment at intensive care units.
Tokyo's healthcare system is under increasing strain, with an occupied rate of the capital's hospital beds allocated for seriously ill Covid-19 patients over 50 per cent.