New Covid-19 cases hit record high in Japan
- As new cases topped 10k for the 1st time, IOC says there is no link between the surge and the Games
Japan hit a record number of new virus cases on Thursday as Tokyo Olympics organisers defended their Covid-19 countermeasures and dismissed any link to the nationwide surge.
Nationwide infections topped 10,000 for the first time, Japanese media said. Meanwhile, Olympic organisers reported 24 new infections among Games participants, the highest yet, bringing the total to 193.
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said there was nothing to suggest a link between the Games and the rising figures in Japan.
“As far as I’m aware there’s not a single case of an infection spreading to the Tokyo population from the athletes or Olympic movement,” he told reporters. “We have the most tested community probably anywhere... in the world, on top of that you have some of the toughest lockdown restrictions in the athletes’ village.”
Of the Olympic participants reported positive, 109 are residents of Japan, with the rest coming from abroad.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said his government will decide on Friday whether to expand the emergency measures. The government is expected to extend Tokyo’s emergency until August 31 and add the capital’s three neighbouring areas and Osaka.
Delta drives virus surge in Mideast, warns WHO
The World Health Organization said on Thursday the Delta variant has led to a “surge” in coronavirus outbreaks triggering a “fourth wave” in the Eastern Mediterranean region, where vaccination rates remain low.
Beijing reported two locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Thursday, breaking a six-month streak of zero community infections in the Chinese capital.
The virus has killed at least 4,190,383 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally compiled by AFP.