Tokyo, 29 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Tokyo, where tens of thousands of athletes and their teams are competing in the Olympics, reported a record high for new coronavirus cases – 3,177 – for the second day in a row on Wednesday.
The previous day, the Japanese capital had seen 2,848 new cases.
However, according to a Tokyo-based politics professor, the Olympic participants are not fuelling the problem. Rather it was a timing issue, with the games taking place as the population has grown increasingly “frustrated” with the government’s handling of the situation, Sophia University’s Koichi Nakano told dpa recently.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called on younger residents to get vaccinated, stay home if possible and follow virus safety measures.
While the majority of the elderly are now vaccinated and infections among that population have dropped significantly, cases among unvaccinated young people are currently on the rise, said Koike.
As of Tuesday, about 25.5 per cent of Japan‘s total population has been fully vaccinated; among the elderly, the rate is 68.2 per cent.
While some young people are waiting their turn to get vaccinated, many are sceptical about vaccines, in part due to rumours and misinformation. Many bypass alcohol bans in bars and restaurants aimed at stopping gatherings by consuming alcohol on the streets.
Tokyo is currently in the midst of its fourth coronavirus state of emergency after the Delta variant triggered a fifth wave of infections. Besides Tokyo, the coronavirus is also spreading to the three neighbouring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.