Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Olympic Games will be played under state of emergency

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A couple walks past a poster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics along a street in Tokyo on May 10, 2021.

Story at a glance

  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Thursday a state of emergency is set to begin next week as cases rise in Tokyo.
  • “Taking into consideration the impact of the delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures,” Suga said.
  • Health Minister Norihisa Tamura maintained the goal of the order is to limit the spread of the virus by mitigating personal interactions brought about by games activities.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Thursday a state of emergency is set to begin next week as cases rise in Tokyo — weeks away from the start of the Opening Ceremonies at the 2020 Olympics.

Suga told reporters the state of emergency will go into effect on Monday and run through the entirety of the games, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The emergency declaration, which will expire Aug. 22, is not expected to interfere with the Paralympic Games. 

“Taking into consideration the impact of the delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures,” Suga said.


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Health Minister Norihisa Tamura maintained the goal of the order is to limit the spread of the virus by mitigating personal interactions brought about by games activities. Tokyo residents will be expected to view the global event from their homes on television, according to the AP. 

“How to stop people enjoying the Olympics from going out for drinks is a main issue,” Tamura said.

Olympic organizers announced in June that domestic spectators would be permitted at 50 percent of games venue capacity but with strict rules. Suga will reportedly make a decision on the matter later Thursday. 


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Tokyo officials reported 869 new cases on Thursday. The nation’s capital reported 920 a day prior, marking the highest number since May. The pace of new infections led the government to bar the Olympic Torch relay from Tokyo’s streets. 

“The infections are in their expansion phase and everyone in this country must firmly understand the seriousness of it,” said Dr. Shigeru Omi, a top government medical adviser, according to The AP. 

Japan has confirmed more than 812,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths, Johns Hopkins University Data shows. There have been more than 2,100 new infections in the past day. Slightly more than 15 percent of the country has been fully vaccinated. 


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