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Japan Will Extend Coronavirus Emergency One Week before Olympic Games

Latest updates of olympics

Friday, 30th July 2021

On Friday, Japan's government will extend a virus state of emergency in Tokyo and impose the measure in four more regions, as cases of the pandemic-affected Olympics continue to rise.

On Thursday, the Japanese capital reported a record number of new infections, as daily cases nationwide surpassed 10,000 for the first time.

Tokyo 2020 organisers reported 27 new cases related to the event on Friday, the highest daily figure yet, though they insist there is no evidence of a link to rising infections in Japan.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government is acting "with a sense of urgency" and will make a decision on expanding anti-infection measures on Friday.

The current virus emergency in Tokyo, which restricts restaurant and bar hours and prohibits them from selling alcohol, was supposed to end on August 22, but the government plans to extend it until the end of the month.

According to government spokesman Katsunobu Kato, the extension will also apply to the emergency in southern Okinawa, and the restrictions will be expanded to three more regions around the capital and the western hub of Osaka.

"We need to send a strong message," said Norihisa Tamura, Japan's Health Minister.

Despite the virus emergency, he noted that infections are still increasing in Tokyo and Okinawa, with the more contagious Delta variant accounting for roughly half of new cases in the capital.

"We're very worried," he added.

The Tokyo Games, which began on July 23, are being held under strict virus rules, which include a spectator ban at nearly all events and regular testing for participants.

The Tokyo Medical Association's chair, Haruo Ozaki, warned on Thursday that the Games were having a "indirect impact" on Japan's virus situation.

"It's difficult for people to think about self-control when we're having this festival," he said.

Despite avoiding harsh lockdowns, Japan's coronavirus outbreak has been less lethal than in other countries, with around 15,000 deaths in total.

Just over a quarter of the population has been fully immunised, and Suga stated on Thursday that immunizations were lowering infection rates among the elderly.

Experts have urged people not to relax their guard, and Tokyo government officials have urged young people to be stabbed.

The Olympics will be held until August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5. There has yet to be a decision on Paralympic spectators.

On Friday, Olympic organisers reported 27 new cases related to the event, including three athletes.


This brings the total for the month to 225, including 98 from outside the country for the Games.

According to organisers, approximately 39,800 people have travelled to Japan for the event, and they deny that the Games are causing infections.

"As far as I'm aware, there hasn't been a single case of an infection spreading to the Tokyo population from athletes or the Olympic movement," said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams on Thursday.


The News Talkie Bureau



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