Japan Declares State of Emergency Two Weeks Before Olympic Games
Just two weeks ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan has declared another COVID-19 state of emergency. The country’s government is now considering a ban on all spectators in order to curb the number of new infections, which will make for a very different Games than what we are used to seeing.
The decision comes as focused antivirus measures for Tokyo, Osaka and eight other prefectures are set to expire on Sunday.
The government plans to tighten anti-infection measures by declaring a state of emergency in Tokyo, where coronavirus cases are surging. Officials in the capital confirmed 920 new infections on Wednesday. That is the highest figure since mid-May.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach arrives in Japan for the Games. He meets tonight with Tokyo 2020 organizers and officials from the national and city governments to decide on whether to ban all spectators from the games as the capital enters a fourth COVID state of emergency.
While Japan has not had the same massive outbreaks seen in North America and Europe, they have had difficulty stamping out clusters of infections, especially in Tokyo. The city recorded 920 new cases on Wednesday, the highest number since mid-May. Japan’s vaccine rollout has also been slow, and only about 25 per cent of the country’s population has received their first dose.