TOKYO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 623 to reach 92,787 as of Saturday night, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.
The figure excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year.
The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 1,684, with six new fatalities announced Saturday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The health ministry also said there are currently 148 patients considered severely ill with ventilators or in intensive care units.
In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 235 new cases were reported on Saturday, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 28,839, the highest among the country's 47 prefectures.
On Friday, Japan's Cabinet decided to use 549.2 billion yen (5.2 billion U.S. dollars) in reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to finance an extension in subsidy programs designed to help struggling business operators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enditem