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Growing Concerns Over Rising COVID Cases in Tokyo

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As cases grow in Tokyo, fears grow that the games will spread the virus across the world.

Observers are concerned over the rise of daily COVID-19 infections in Tokyo.

The latest figures showed a rise to 2,848 daily recorded cases. The previous high was 2,520 in January, according to data from the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Since its opening ceremony, more than 70 people associated with the Games have tested positive.

“We must stay on high alert,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters. Noting the rising caseloads, he said, “having no spectators is a possibility.”

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo organizing committee, agreed.

“It’s not that we are determined to have spectators regardless of the situation,” Hashimoto said Friday.

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Experts say the cases show that Japan’s border health controls can be easily breached.

“There will be more people coming in… We should use this as a lesson so that similar problems won’t be repeated elsewhere in Japan,” Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said.

Earlier this month, Japan announced the Games would go ahead in empty stadiums – despite growing concern over the Covid situation.

The pandemic forced organizers of 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to postpose for a year.

“We will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” said Mr Muto when asked at a press conference if the Games might be cancelled even at this late stage.

“At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

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