Tokyo Olympics: Tokyo records 1,979 new COVID cases; highest since January
Tokyo is in a state of emergency, as the city records the highest COVID-19 cases since January ahead of the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics Games.
Tokyo metropolitan recorded 1,979 new coronavirus infections, its highest since January. 92 individuals connected to the games have been infected since July 1st.
The Japanese capital is all set to host the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Friday, fighting the pandemic and the critics that come along with the decision to host in such conditions.
Tokyo, the only Asian city to host Summer Olympics twice, is now home to 11,324 athletes from over 205 nations until August 8. With around 93,000 athletes and officials exempted from the quarantine regulations and only about 20,000 vaccines allocated for a group of 300,000 individuals, which include volunteers and local staff, commuting in the "bubble," the preparations drew concerns even on paper.
- Measures and guidelines deployed to ensure a "safe and secure for all" Olympics aren't faring well in practice even before the games began.
- New peak (since January) in COVID-19 cases leaves the Games Village and the entire nation under dark clouds. The Games just concluded its first set of scheduled events after a year's delay garnering millions of spectators worldwide but remains heavily protested by the local public.
- Most cities in Japan are now looking at a complete revision in the vaccine plans as priority shifts, and the supply chain dwindles.
- The Self-Defense Forces have announced to extend the mass vaccination period in Tokyo and Osaka until September.
- Only about 23% of Japan's population is vaccinated, significantly less than the levels deemed necessary before the games.
Tokyo 2020 officials are now enforcing stricter surveillance, ensuring athletes and officials don't go "out of sight" from the guards. A mandatory two-week quarantine period is now applicable to anyone arriving at the capital city from overseas. Visitors must also fill out a detailed form stating all the Tokyo 2020 venues they intend to visit during this quarantine period.