Tokyo Olympics 2020: Organisers report 18 new Games-related COVID-19 cases, total at 259
In response to rising cases, the Japanese government has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and expanded it to neighbouring prefectures.
August 01, 2021 / 09:53 AM IST
Tokyo Olympics organisers on August 1 reported 18 new Games-related COVID-19 cases including one athlete, bringing the total Games-linked number since July 1 to 259.
The government has extended a state of emergency in the capital city and expanded it to neighbouring prefectures.
Japan said on July 30 it will expand states of emergency to three prefectures near Olympic host Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka, as COVID-19 cases spike in the capital and around the country, overshadowing the Summer Games.
Tokyo, already under its fourth state of emergency since the pandemic began.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the virus is spreading at an unprecedented speed largely because of Delta variant, adding he is worried the country's hospital beds could become stretched.
"With a heavy heart, I want to ask everyone: until we see the impact of more vaccinations, I want you all to stay vigilant and implement infection prevention measures to the full," he said, calling on people to watch the Olympics on TV at home.
Already, 64 percent of Tokyo's hospital beds available for serious COVID-19 cases are filled as of mid-week.
The new emergency measures will be in effect from Aug. 2-Aug. 31, while existing states of emergency for Tokyo and southern Okinawa island will be extended to Aug. 31, covering 37% of the country's population.
Together with another five prefectures which Suga declared as coming under 'quasi-emergency', more than a half of the country now lives under some restrictions.