Japan logged 250,403 new Covid-19 cases, a daily record high, amid concerns over a strain on the medical system due to a new wave of the pandemic, the Health Ministry said.

Fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant, the daily tally on Wednesday surpassed the previous record of 249,830 on August 3. A total of 251 new fatalities linked to Covid-19 were confirmed nationwide, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Health Ministry added on Wednesday that the number of infected people hospitalised with severe symptoms went up by 16 from Tuesday to 597, much less than last summer's peak when serious cases exceeded 2,000 for weeks.

Twenty of Japan's 47 prefectures saw record daily counts of new infections. The Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday reported 34,243 new coronavirus cases, while Osaka and Aichi prefectures logged 23,730 and 18,862 cases respectively.

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