Photo/Illutration Snow starts to fall in Tokyo’s Ginza district on Jan. 6. (Shiro Nishihata)

Fresh cases of COVID-19 in Tokyo and Osaka continued to rise dramatically on Jan. 6, following steep climbs in both areas the day before.

Nationwide, the number of new cases surpassed 4,000 as of 6 p.m. on Jan. 6 for the first time since Sept. 18, 2021.

Health authorities in Tokyo confirmed 641 new cases, the first time the daily tally has topped 600 since Sept. 18 last year, when 865 cases were reported.

On Jan. 5, Tokyo reported 390 cases and Osaka, 244.

But on Jan. 6, Osaka Prefecture logged 505 new cases, the first time for the figure to exceed 500 since 540 were confirmed on Sept. 23, 2021.

Tokyo’s latest tally was up 10-fold from 64 cases reported on Thursday last week and brought the daily average of new infections in the capital over the week through Jan. 6 to 218, or 447.6 percent of the figure for the preceding week.

No new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in either Tokyo or Osaka Prefecture.

The number of patients in Tokyo deemed to be in a serious condition and requiring special breathing equipment remained unchanged from the previous day at three.

Patients in their 20s accounted for 254 of the 641 cases in Tokyo, about 40 percent of the total. They were followed by 131 patients in their 30s, 99 in their 40s and 42 in their 50s. Thirty-seven patients were aged between 10 and 19.