Tokyo hits highest Covid-19 increase since May, days before Olympics

Tokyo, Jul 7 (EFE).- Tokyo counted 920 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the highest daily number since mid-May, 16 days before the Olympic Games, which could change the amount of public admitted to stadiums.

This is the highest figure since May 13, when the city recorded 1,010 infections, during the state of emergency.

The average number of daily cases during the last week in the capital has exceeded the worst level on the scale of four degrees established by the central government to assess the severity of the spread of the virus, according to local authorities.

The rebound in cases in recent days, both in the metropolis and in other areas of the country, has led the government to assess the maintenance for a longer time of the restrictions that affect the capital and other Japanese cities, initially scheduled to be lifted Monday.

The extension of the measures would mean they will be in force during the Olympics.

The restrictions mainly affect business hours, the sale of alcoholic beverages and the capacity at events, but not the movement of people, who have never experienced confinement in Japan as a result of the pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to make a decision on the matter Thursday.

The spread of the disease, which experts attribute to the spread of more contagious variants such as alpha or delta, has fueled skepticism about holding the Tokyo 2020 Games in the presence of the public, fearing they will become a focus of infection or origin of new strains.

The organizers of the event, scheduled to begin Jul. 23, have not ruled out holding closed-door competitions based on the epidemic, however, they recently announced they planned to allow the entry of up to 10,000 spectators or half of the capacity of the facilities.

Authorities are now considering reducing the figure to 5,000 and holding events that begin after 9 pm, including opening and closing ceremonies, behind closed doors, according to local Kyodo news agency.

Organizers are expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss the matter. EFE


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