The barrier of 10,000 cases was broken by Japan, as broadcast today by the television network Nippon. It was preceded by the announcement of the Tokyo metropolitan government that a record number of 3,865 new infections were recorded in the capital.
According to the Athenian Macedonian News Agency, yesterday, the city hosting the Olympic Games recorded 3,177 new cases, while nationally the new cases reached a record number of 9,570, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Health.
The Japan Medical Association has asked the government to communicate the urgency of the situation to stop the rapid spread of the cases, the Kyodo news agency reported today, while earlier the senior medical adviser of the country warned that the country is facing pandemic since its inception and he also called on the government to send a “clearer, stronger message” of the growing dangers, including to the health system.
“The biggest crisis is that society does not share a sense of danger,” Sigeru Omi told a parliamentary committee.
Extension of the state of emergency
The Japanese government will extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and Okinawa until August 31, while considering declaring Osaka and three other prefectures around Tokyo a state of emergency. According to Kyodo, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will decide tomorrow what will be born in other regions.
The explosion in the number of cases increases concern for the Olympics, which take place under unprecedented conditions including a ban on spectators in most venues.
It also puts the prime minister in an even worse position, as he sees his approval rating at its lowest level since taking power last September in the run-up to the ruling party and the general election scheduled for this year.
Omi said vaccinations would help reduce the incidence, but many more factors threaten to cause a further increase in cases, including the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant, population fatigue from the restrictive measures and the Olympics.
However, the Prime Minister reiterated today that he does not believe that the Games contribute to the increase of infections thanks to the strict measures taken.
Only 26.5% of the population of Japan is fully vaccinated and the vaccination campaign has recently encountered problems in the supply of medicines.
The organizers announced today 24 new cases related to the Games, including three athletes, with their total number rising to 193 as of July 1st.
As a representative of the “Tokyo 2020” organization stated today, two people from abroad involved in the Games were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19.
Spokesman Massa Takaya told reporters that neither case was serious and that a third who had been taken to hospital had already been discharged.
Participants in the Games, which will end on August 8, and others involved from third countries must follow strict rules to prevent the virus from spreading inside the “Olympic bubble” or the wider city.
“As far as I know, there is not a single case of infection that has spread to the Tokyo population from athletes or from the Olympic movement,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told reporters on a daily basis.
Tokyo is in a state of emergency for the fourth time, which will last throughout the Olympics, but the measures, which are mostly voluntary, have proved less effective than in the past.