Olympic host city Tokyo hits record 2,848 daily Covid-19 cases

TOKYO :  Tokyo's 2,848 Covid-19 infections yesterday were the Olympic host city's highest since the pandemic began, officials said, as media reported that the authorities had asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients.

"It is the Delta variant", said Professor Kenji Shibuya, a former director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College London, explaining the swift surge.

Prof Shibuya added that it was impossible to quantify to what extent the Olympics contributed to the surge but blamed the global sports showpiece as "one of the major driving forces".

"The government has sent signals that people are supposed to stay home at the same time they celebrate the Games. It is a totally inconsistent message," said Prof Shibuya, who is now running the vaccine roll-out in a town in northern Japan.

By Sunday, only 20.8 per cent of Tokyo's 12,635 Covid-19 patients had been able to get hospital treatment, data showed.

The number of record cases is "not a problem" for the Olympic Games, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said yesterday, adding that the Japanese capital's residents should focus on working from home to suppress the movement of people. - REUTERS