By Salim Yunusa
Coronavirus cases in Tokyo have shot up to a record high just four days after the start of the Olympics, local media reported on Tuesday.
Japan’s capital reported 2,848 new cases – its highest daily figure to date – as a wave of infections driven by the contagious Delta variant shows no signs of abating despite the imposition of a state of emergency, according to a report by Kyodo News.
The nationwide daily count was also above 7,000 for the first time since May 12, inching closer to Japan’s all-time high of about 8,000 seen in January.
Infections have also been mounting in the provinces neighboring Tokyo, such as Kanagawa and Chiba, the report added.
“We’re concerned about the rise in people in serious condition,” said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, adding that efforts were being made to “secure more hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.”
Experts are warning that the Delta strain, which was first detected in India, may cause an alarming surge in cases that could peak around Aug. 3, five days before the Olympics end, the report said.
The number of COVID-19 cases at the Games has risen to 155 after seven more people, including two foreign athletes, tested positive for the virus.
Japan’s overall tally now stands at 875,506, including 15,137 deaths, according to official figures. (Anadolu Agency)