Olympics: Tokyo battles surge in coronavirus cases as tropical storm Nepartak barrels towards Japan

WION Web Team
Tokyo Published: Jul 27, 2021, 04:44 PM(IST)

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games affected by virus, storm Photograph:( AFP )

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Tokyo has been battling the virus amid the Olympic Games with other regions in Japan deeply affected by the pandemic

Just days after the Olympic opening ceremony, Japan's capital Tokyo reported a record 2,848 coronavirus cases on Tuesday. 

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged citizens to avoid "all unnecessary travel" while asking them to stay indoors. 

The Japanese prime minister said the Delta variant has been spreading fast with people in their 30s accounting for the bulk of coronavirus cases.

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Suga however said that the fears over Olympics being cancelled were not true due to traffic restrictions, remote work and people going out less as he urged people to watch the Olympics on TV.

Japan has been facing the fifth wave of the pandemic with Okinawa reporting 334 COVID-19 cases and Saitama recording 593 cases. Reports said capital Tokyo has witnessed a surge in cases among 20-year-olds with severely ill patients in the capital rising to 82.

Reports say authorities are calling for the implementation of emergency measures in Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa amid rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Tokyo and Okinawa Prefecture are under a state of emergency which will continue beyond the Olympics. 

As the country battles the virus, tropical storm Nepartak has been barrelling towards northeastern Japan.

Olympic organisers have rescheduled rowing and archery competitions as the country's meteorological agency said tropical storm Nepartak is set to make landfall.

The storm is reportedly reached near Japan and was originally set to hit Tokyo but has changed course and is expected to make landfall around the Miyagi region early on Wednesday. 

Miyagi and neighbouring Ibaraki will be hosting a number of Olympic events, however, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said despite the storm the games will be held as scheduled.

"We expect spectators to come to watch too," Takaya added.

Ahead of the storm, rain and winds affected Japan's east coast delaying the women's triathlon event in Tokyo by 15 minutes even as organizers get ready to combat heavy rain which is expected around Tokyo, Tohoku region and Hokuriku region on Wednesday.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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