Tokyo cases at 6-month high ahead of Olympics

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Tokyo’s coronavirus infections have surged to a six-month high with the Olympic host city logging 1,832 new cases just two days before the Games open. Tokyo is currently under its fourth state of emergency, which will last until Aug. 22, covering the entire duration of the Olympics that start Friday and end Aug. 8. Fans are banned from all venues in the Tokyo area.

Japan Medical Association President Toshio Nakagawa says the surge has been expected regardless of the Olympics. Experts say cases among younger, unvaccinated people are sharply rising as Japan’s inoculation drive loses steam due to supply uncertainty. About 23% of Japanese are fully vaccinated.

Health experts on Wednesday warned Tokyo’s infections would only worsen in coming weeks. Dr. Norio Ohmagari, the Tokyo metropolitan government’s expert panel member, says Tokyo’s average daily cases could hit around 2,600 in two weeks if they continue at the current pace.

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Japan has recorded about 84,800 infections and more than 15,000 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic, most of them since the latest wave in January.

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