TOKYO (AP) – Tokyo reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, just days after the start of the Olympic Games.
The Japanese capital has recorded 2,848 new cases of COVID-19, surpassing the previous record of 2,520 cases as of January 7.
Thus, since the beginning of the pandemic last year, the total number of Tokyo residents has surpassed 200,000.
Tokyo has a fourth state of emergency, which will last until the start of the Olympic Games until the start of the Paralympic Games in late August.
Experts warned that a more contagious variant of the delta could cause a spike during the Olympics, which kicked off on Friday.
The experts noted that cases of the disease among young, unvaccinated people are skyrocketing as vaccinations in Japan expire due to supply uncertainties. Many serious cases involve people over the age of 50. They now dominate the nearly 3,000 hospitalized patients in Tokyo and are gradually filling up the available beds. The authorities are reportedly planning to ask medical facilities to increase their capacity to 6,000.
Vaccinations in Japan began late and slowly, but rose sharply in May for several weeks as supplies of imported vaccines stabilized and Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugi’s government pushed for more people to be vaccinated ahead of the Olympics.
The government says 25.5% of Japanese people have been fully vaccinated, still far from levels believed to have any meaningful impact on reducing risk to the general population.
However, in Japan, the number of cases and deaths is significantly lower than in many other countries. Nationwide, as of Monday, there were 870,445 cases and 15,129 deaths.
The Suga government has been criticized for arguing that the Olympics are more important than the health of the nation. According to recent media polls, his public support rating has dropped to about 30% and there is little celebration around games.
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