Tokyo has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections in a day since the pandemic began amid reports authorities have asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients.

The Olympic host city’s 2,848 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday threatens to further erode support for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and spells trouble for the Games, as many Japanese fear the influx of athletes and officials for the event could add to the surge.

Asked on Tuesday whether there is an option to cancel the Olympics, Suga said: “As we have seen a decline in the flow of the people, there is no such option.

“Refrain from going out unnecessarily and I want you to watch the Olympics and Paralympics on TV.”

Japan has avoided the devastating outbreaks suffered by other nations such as India, Indonesia and the United States, but the fifth wave of the pandemic fuelled by the Delta variant is piling pressure on Tokyo’s hospitals.

As Delta has spread, the number of severe COVID-19 cases in the city over the last month roughly doubled to 78 as of Monday, government data showed.

Olympics on 7plus

Olympics on 7plus

Coronavirus hospitalisations have also jumped at a similar clip, reaching 2,717.

By Sunday, only 20.8 per cent of the Japanese capital’s 12,635 COVID-19 patients had been able to obtain hospital treatment, the data showed.

Olympics on 7plus

Olympics on 7plus

A government advisory panel says that if the ratio falls below the threshold of 25 per cent, a state of emergency should be triggered.

In anticipation of the surge and considering the tough hospital situation, Tokyo has already declared a fourth state of emergency this month to run until after the Olympics.

Doctors have said that because the vaccine rollout has started with the elderly, most people affected now were in their 40s and 50s and many recovered.

Tokyo most recently recorded one death on July 19, a sharp drop from the January 31 peak of 38 deaths.

The city aims to boost the number of beds to 6,406 by early next month from 5,967 now, broadcaster TBS said.

Voter support for Suga has slid nine points to 34 per cent, its lowest since he took office last September.

About a third in a recent survey wanted the Games postponed again or cancelled, while more than half said Japan’s border steps for incoming Olympics athletes and officials were “inappropriate”.

Despite tight quarantine rules for the Games, 155 cases have emerged involving athletes and others.

Tokyo hits record COVID-19 cases
Source 1


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here