Story at a glance
- An explosion pf COVID-19 cases across Japan after the Tokyo Olympics has led experts to warn of an impending disaster.
- Local reporting indicates record numbers not only for the entire country, but also in Tokyo — which marked a record breaking 5,773 new cases.
- Nationwide, Japan reported a record setting daily case count Friday with 20,000 infections.
An explosion of COVID-19 cases across Japan after the Tokyo Olympics has led experts to warn of an impending disaster.
“If infections continue to surge at the current pace, we won’t be able to save lives that could otherwise be saved,” the government’s top medical adviser Shigeru Omi said. “This is already happening. The situation is like a disaster.”
Local reporting indicates record numbers not only for the entire country, but also in Tokyo — which had a record breaking 5,773 new cases, according to Kyodo News. Japan’s capital reported an accelerating seven-day rolling average at nearly 9 percent above the previous week's numbers. Meanwhile, Tokyo reported 227 patients with severe virus symptoms.
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Nationwide, Japan reported a record setting daily case count Friday with 20,000 infections.
"I believe that the medical system in Tokyo is in a dire situation. Under such circumstances, it is the greatest responsibility of the government to protect the lives of the people," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference Friday, according to Kyodo News.
Suga has thus far opted for restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus by curtailing business hours and cutting off the sale of alcohol at certain hours — specifically during the Olympics. The prime minister bolstered his argument against implementing a whole scale lockdown, citing the results in other countries that have instituted highly restrictive measures.
"Countries around the world have imposed lockdowns and fines for violations, yet they couldn't get people to obey," Suga said at a press conference reported by Kyodo News.
Suga reportedly continues to deny any association between skyrocketing cases across the island nation and the Tokyo Olympics, which ended the past weekend. Instead, officials say the Olympics caused ordinary citizens to let down their guard.
Kyodo News reported that organizers for the Paralympics are considering running the competitions without spectators, in the same manner the committee moved along the Tokyo Olympics. Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons is expected to arrive in Japan on Monday.
Japan has vaccinated nearly 37 percent of its citizens with more than 108 million doses administered.
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