Tokyo Olympics: Japan to widen virus emergency after record spike amid Games

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 22: A couple wearing face masks check their phone after taking a selfie together in front of the Olympic Rings on January 22, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. With just six months to go until the start of the Games, it has been reported that the Japanese authorities have privately concluded that the Olympics could not proceed due to the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Spokesmen from the IOC and Japanese government have since rejected the report. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Tokyo Olympics: Japan is set to expand the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo to neighboring areas and the western city of Osaka on Friday in the wake of a record-breaking surge in infections while the capital hosts the Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics: A government panel approved the plan putting Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba, as well as Osaka, under the state of emergency from Monday until Aug. 31. The measures already in place in Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa will be extended until the end of August.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is scheduled to officially announce the measures later Friday. Five other areas, including Hokkaido, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka, will be placed under less-stringent emergency restrictions.

Tokyo has reported a record rise in cases for three days in a row, including 3,865 on Thursday. The cases have doubled since last week, and officials have warned they may hit 4,500 a day within two weeks

310,000 tests have been carried out at the Games in total so far, only a small fraction of which were positive.

Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee spokesperson Masa Takaya underlined that there is no negative impact on the Japanese health system. “In that respect, we’ve been absolutely right on track to deliver the safe and secure games“, Takaya added.

Olympics: Tokyo records 2,848 Covid-19 cases on July 27, highest single-day spike since pandemic began - Sports News

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Japanese officials sounded alarmed Thursday after Tokyo reported record-breaking coronavirus cases for two straight days with the Olympics well underway.

Tokyo reported 3,177 new cases on Wednesday, up from 2,848 on Tuesday, setting an all-time high and exceeding 3,000 for the first time.

Obviously it’s challenging for any country when there are rising cases of Covid-19, but I am confident that the Olympics are being run without actually affecting that essential secondary care and hospital provision,” said IOC medical and scientific director Richard Budgett.