Olympic host Japan to further COVID emergency due to surge of cases

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With the record-shattering increase in COVID-19 cases as Tokyo hosts the Olympics, Japan will further the coronavirus state of emergency in the capital city to nearby areas, including the western city of Osaka on Friday.

The state of emergency plan was approved by a government panel for Sitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, as well as Osaka, until August 31.

Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa are currently placed in the same measures and will remain with the status also until the end of next month.

The measures are expected to be announced later Friday by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga himself.

Less-stringent emergency restrictions will meanwhile be implemented in Kyoto, Hyogo, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.

A record rise in cases was recorded in Tokyo for three straight days. On Thursday, 3, 865 cases were logged.

Since last week, the cases have increased by two-folds with officials cautioning that they might reach 4, 5000 cases daily within a couple of weeks.

There have been 2, 995 hospitalized which is about 50 percent of the present 6, 000-bed capacity, according to officials, as some hospitals have already reached their full capacity. The number of people isolated at home or in hotels surpassed 10, 000. Some 5, 600 others are staying at home while getting treatment, as decided by the health centers.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura, during the government experts meeting on Friday, said the surge in Tokyo is an “alarming development that is different from anything we have seen before” as it has been under a state of emergency for a couple of weeks already.

On Thursday, Japan recorded more than 10, 000 cases for the first time, with 10, 687 confirmed virus cases. Fatalities since the global outbreak have reached 15, 166. Of this number, 2, 288 are from Tokyo, AP News reported.

While the county managed to keep its cases and fatalities lesser than several countries, its weekly average recorded an increase and now hits 28 per 100, 000 people across the nation, the Health Ministry said.