Japan confirms 132,071 new COVID cases and 503 deaths

Japan's health ministry says it confirmed 132,071 new cases of the coronavirus nationwide on Saturday.

It also says a record 503 people died after contracting the virus. The daily number of COVID-related deaths topped 500 for the first time.

The number of seriously ill patients who are on ventilators or ECMO heart-lung machines stands at 693, down two from Friday.

In Tokyo, 10,727 new cases were confirmed. The daily tally is down 8,903 from a week ago and marks three straight days of week-on-week decrease.

The ministry also confirmed 33 deaths in the capital. The number of seriously ill patients is unchanged from Friday at 46.