Tokyo reported thousands of new cases of the Chinese coronavirus Wednesday with the Olympic Games underway, as U.S. officials surrender, instructing vaccinated people to mask up over fears of the virus spread.
The previous record stood at 2,848 new cases for the city. Nationwide, Japan has reported over 9,000 new cases, bringing the country’s total to over 882,000 cases overall throughout the pandemic. According to Worldometer data, the vast majority have recovered, as the nation has reported roughly 15,152 coronavirus-related fatalities.
According to ESPN, “Governors of three prefectures near Tokyo — Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama — will ask the government on Thursday to declare states of emergency for their regions, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads Japan’s COVID-19 response, told a parliamentary panel.”
Yuji Kuroiwa, governor of Kanagawa, told reporters the area has “entered a trend of sharp rises in cases which I had feared the most.”
Olympics organizers reported 16 new Games-related cases, for a total of 169 since July 1. Athletes, staff and media must all follow strict rules, including frequent testing, inside an Olympic bubble.
Tokyo is under its fourth state of emergency, which expands through the Olympic games.
According to Our World in Data, just over one-quarter of Japan’s population is considered fully vaccinated.
The uptick in cases comes as U.S. health officials revert to pandemic-era restrictions, including bringing back masks, even for vaccinated individuals. The White House has been unable to explain how the updated CDC guidance does not undermine their coronavirus messaging that vaccines are the primary way to return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy, opting to blame unvaccinated Americans for “sowing enormous confusion.”