Tokyo reports highest daily number of new Covid-19 infections since January

27 July 2021, 11:09 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 11:14

Protesters called for the Olympics to be called off due to concerns about a rise in infections
Protesters called for the Olympics to be called off due to concerns about a rise in infections. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Tokyo reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, days after the Olympics began.

The Japanese capital reported 2,848 new Covid-19 cases, exceeding the earlier peak of 2,520 cases from January 7.

It takes Tokyo's total to more than 200,000 since the pandemic began last year.

Tokyo is under its fourth state of emergency, which will last throughout the Olympics and into the Paralympics next month.

Experts have warned that the more contagious Delta variant could cause a surge during the Games, which started on Friday.

Tokyo is asking hospitals to raise the number of Covid beds to 6,406 by early next month from the current capacity of 5,967.

Japan has vaccinated just 36 per cent of its population with at least one dose, according to analysis by Reuters.

Last week WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an International Olympic Committee meeting in Tokyo that how infections are handled is what matters most, as events got under way in Japan.

"The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted," he said.

Health experts in Japan have warned of the Olympics becoming a "super-spreader" event, bringing in tens of thousands of athletes, officials and workers during a local state of emergency.