Japanese officials raised the alarm Thursday after Tokyo reported record-breaking coronavirus infections for the third straight day. The Olympics are well underway.
Tokyo reported 3,865 additional cases Thursday, an increase of 3,177 from Wednesday and twice the number a week earlier.
Katsunobu Kato, Chief Cabinet Secretary, stated that he had never seen the infection spread to this extent. According to him, the number of new infections was rising not only in Tokyo but all over the country.
Japan has reported more than 9500 confirmed cases nationwide on Wednesday. This is a record for the country and a record for about 892,000 infections since the pandemic started.
Japan’s death rates and cases have remained lower than other countries. However, the Health Ministry reports that its seven-day average rolling average is increasing and stands at 28 per 100,000 people in Japan and 88 per 100,000 in Tokyo. According to Johns Hopkins University data, this compares with 18.5 in the United States and 48 in Britain, while it is 2.8 in India.
Dr. Shigeru Omi, a high-ranking government medical advisor, stated that while almost nothing can slow down the spread of infections, there are many things that can speed them up, including the Olympics and summer vacation. The greatest risk is a lack of a crisis. Without it, the infections will continue to grow and place severe strain on medical systems.
Tokyo is now in its fourth state emergency, having been declared by the government on July 12. This was before the Olympics which started last Friday. However, there has been widespread opposition from the public and concerns that the Olympics could worsen the outbreak.
Despite being asked to stay at home, people are still out on the streets. This makes emergency measures ineffective as the more contagious delta strain is rapidly spreading.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Sauga stated that his government would decide on Friday whether to increase the emergency measures. Local media reported that the government will extend Tokyo’s emergency to Aug. 31 and include Osaka and three other areas nearby.
Suga supported his anti-virus measures and denied that the Olympics were responsible for the record-breaking surge.
Tokyo officials announced Thursday that two Olympic athletes from other countries are currently in hospital and 38 others are being self-isolated at designated hotels within the city.
Gov. Yuriko Koike asked the organizers not to overburden Tokyo’s hospitals.
Taro Kono (Japan’s vaccine minister) stated in an interview on Wednesday with The Associated Press that there is no evidence that the coronavirus has spread from Olympic athletes to the general population.
“I don’t believe there have been any cases connected to the Olympic Games. He said that they aren’t concerned about the issue.
Koike stated that the medical system is under extreme stress and pointed out that experts had predicted that there would be more than 4,500 cases per day in Tokyo by mid-August.
Koike observed that recent cases were dominated by adults in their 30s and younger. He reminded them to follow basic anti-virus precautions, such as wearing a mask and not having parties.
She said, “I want young people to know that the Delta strain is a very tough and dangerous enemy.”
She also advised those below 64 to get their shots as soon their turn comes.
On Wednesday, 26.3% had been fully vaccinated in Japan. 70% of seniors are fully vaccinated, which is 24.8 million people.
Director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center Dr. Norio Ohmagari said that Tokyo’s surge is “pointing toward an explosive expansion we haven’t experienced before.”
Another expert on the Tokyo metropolitan COVID-19 panel was Dr. Masataka. Inokuchi said that hospitals are beginning to have to postpone scheduled operations and reduce other treatment because of the increasing number of patients. Many people who have tested positive for HIV are staying at home or in designated hotels to wait for their hospital beds.