Tokyo’s hospitals under increasing pressure as COVID cases rise to record levels

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 29: People wearing face masks cross a street on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Fans have been barred from most Olympic events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also caused the Games' yearlong postponement. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)
Coronavirus cases have accelerated to record levels in Tokyo. (Getty Images)

Tokyo’s hospitals are under increasing pressure as coronavirus cases surge.

According to the latest data, more than 60% of the city’s hospital beds have now been filled for serious COVID-19 infections.

It comes as an Olympic spokesperson revealed on Thursday that two people attending the Tokyo Games from overseas have been admitted to hospital with the virus, but added neither were serious.

Organisers have insisted zero Games-related infections have spread to Tokyo’s wider population.

Watch: The remarkable moments when politics upstaged the Games

Regardless, daily infections in the capital have now reached a record high, with the city’s government reporting 3,865 new cases on Thursday – up from 1,979 a week ago.

At the beginning of the Games last week, experts had warned the medical system would be put under severe pressure with more than 2,000 cases a day.

On Thursday, there were also a further 24 Games-related infections, with the total now 193 since 1 July.

Athletes and other attendees have been required to follow strict rules to prevent the spread of cases in the wider population in Tokyo.

As early as last week, experts were suggesting this so-called protection “bubble” had already burst.

However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson Mark Adams insisted that “as far as I'm aware, there is not a single case of infection spreading to Tokyo's population from the athletes or Olympic movement”.

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Experts have said that holding the Games sends a confusing message to the public about the need to limit their activities.

Japan's top medical adviser, Shigeru Omi, called for the government to “send a stronger, clearer message” following the record cases in Tokyo, where a "state of emergency" has been extended until 31 August.

Watch: How To Raise An Olympian: Tammara Thibeault

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