TOKYO — A record number of new Covid-19 infections was reported by Tokyo’s metropolitan government Saturday, as health workers warned they were reaching “crisis levels.”
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, more than 4,000 cases were recorded in the Olympics host city, with 4,058 cases in 24 hours.
The unwanted record came a day after Japan extended its state of emergency for its capital to the end of August. It was also expanded in three of prefectures near the city and the western prefecture of Osaka after a recent spike in infections.
Municipal health centers told Japan’s public broadcaster NHK they were reaching “crisis levels” with coronavirus inquiries.
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Despite the mounting concern, large crowds were seen at various Games-related sites. Olympic organizers also reported 21 new Covid-19 cases related to the Games on Saturday, bringing the total to 241 since July 1.
Organizers also said they had revoked accreditation of a Games-related person or people for a violation of measures, after they left the athletes’ village to go sightseeing. Residents of the village are not allowed to go out for non-Games-related purposes.
It was the first time accreditation has been revoked since the Olympics began on July 23. Without it, one cannot enter any facilities.
The organizers did not disclose if the person or people involved were athletes, when the violation took place or how many people had their accreditation revoked.
“We took away accreditation as we believe going out of the athletes’ village for sightseeing is something that should not happen,” Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya said during a news conference.
As of Saturday, Japan’s health ministry has reported a total of 913,755 Covid-19 cases across the nation.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that he did not see the Olympics contributing to a rise in infections, thanks to the strict measures being taken by his government.