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Tokyo daily Covid cases top 3,000 for first time as virus surges during Olympics
28 July 2021, 10:15
Tokyo has recorded over 3,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time, as the virus surges just days after the start of the delayed Olympic games.
A record 3,177 cases were recorded in the 24 hours to Wednesday, up
It comes after 2,848 infections were recorded on Tuesday, exceeding the previous high of 2,520 in early January 2021.
Despite the Tokyo region being under a state of emergency - including an 8pm curfew and ban on hospitality selling alcohol - the Olympics have seen 38,484 people travelling to Japan for the games.
The Summer Olympics, already delayed a year by the pandemic, began on 23 July and will finish on 8 August.
Organisers have stressed that those involved with the games have little contact with the wide population, with spectators banned from attending for the first time in living memory.
Ahead of the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach even claimed there was "zero" risk of athletes in the village passing on the virus to Japanese people or other residents of the village.
However, experts have said the event is "one of the major driving forces" behind the surge.
“The government has sent signals that people are supposed to stay home, at the same time they celebrate the games. It’s a totally inconsistent message,” Kenji Shibuya, former director of the Institute for Population Health at King’s College London, told Al Jazeera.
"People are divided, on the one hand we like to embrace the Games and the athletes and congratulate them, but on the other we are very, very concerned about the current Covid situation," he added.
Since the beginning of July, 169 people associated with the Olympics have tested positive for Covid-19, organisers said on Wednesday.