Tokyo has reported a high number of new Covid-19 cases a few days after the start of the Olympics.
The Japanese capital confirmed 2,848 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday (7/27/2021), higher than the previous record of 2,520 cases on January 7. This brings the total number of cases in Tokyo to more than 200,000 since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Tokyo is in its fourth state of emergency, as the Olympics continue, with the Paralympics set to begin at the end of August.
Experts have warned that the more contagious Delta variant could cause a spike during the Tokyo Olympics, which opened on Friday (23/7/2021).
These same experts noted that Covid-19 cases among younger, unvaccinated people rose sharply, as Japan’s inoculation push has declined during times of supply uncertainty.
Many serious cases of Covid-19 have occurred in people in their 50’s. These cases now dominate nearly 3,000 hospitalized patients in Tokyo and are gradually filling available hospital beds.
Andy Richardson, a reporter for Al Jazeera in Tokyo, reported that event organizers wanted to separate the link between the event and the soaring number of Covid-19 cases in Japan.
Event organizers said that “what’s happening in the metropolitan area has nothing to do with (the games),” Richardson said.
Kenji Shibuya, former director of the Institute for Population Health at King’s College London, said it was impossible to gauge the extent to which the Olympics contributed to the surge, but blamed the global sporting championship as “one of the main driving forces”.
“The government has sent a signal that people should stay at home; at the same time they celebrate the Olympics. This is a completely inconsistent message,” said Shibuya, who is now running a Covid-19 vaccine rollout in a city in northern Japan.