Tokyo recorded 5,042 new daily cases of coronavirus on Thursday, setting a record since the start of the epidemic as infections increased in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics.
The additional cases brought Tokyo’s total to 236,138, about a quarter of the national total. Japan reported more than 14,000 cases on Wednesday for a total of 970,000.
Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four more regions have been added and extended since then until August 31. But the measures, essentially the ban on alcohol in restaurants and bars and their shorter hours, are increasingly being ignored by a public tired of the restrictions.
“We need to address the situation because we now have a stronger sense of urgency,” Prime Minister Yoshied Suga told reporters, referring to Tokyo’s new record of exceeding 5,000 cases for the first time. “Injuries are expanding at a pace we’ve never seen before.”
Suga, who has been criticized for insisting on hosting the Olympics despite the spread of the coronavirus, says there is no evidence linking the increase in cases to July 23 to August. 8 games. He urged people to stick firmly to emergency requests and stay home despite the summer vacation.
Some experts, alarmed by the pace of the spread, have called for the current state of emergency to be expanded in Tokyo and five other regions across the country.
Instead, Suga on Thursday announced a lighter version of emergency measures in eight prefectures, including Fukushima in the east and Kumamoto in the south, to expand areas to 13 prefectures. Less strict measures allow provincial chiefs to target specific cities but cannot order business closures.
Suga also vowed to “prevent further spread of the virus by aggressively conducting vaccinations.”
Experts say people are not cooperating as many are not feeling the urgency of the pandemic while the Olympics go on and the Suga government continues to issue the same requests for people to stay home.
-From the Associated Press, last updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
What is happening in Canada
What is happening around the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 200.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to a case-tracking tool maintained by the United States. Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll has reached more than 4.2 million.
In the Asia Pacific The Philippine president’s office said Thursday that the Philippines will extend stricter restrictions regarding the coronavirus to three regions, including a province adjacent to the capital region, to prevent the spread of the delta variant. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement that the stricter restrictions, already set to take effect in the capital Manila from August 6, will also be imposed in Laguna County and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo.
in a Africa, The director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he contracted COVID-19 last week, and if he had not been vaccinated earlier, “I wouldn’t be here now.” John Nkengasong, who is audibly ill, told reporters that although he was vaccinated in April, “the severity of the attack is unbearable.” He cited his experience in resisting vaccine frequency.
African Union officials said Thursday that the body had begun shipping doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it obtained through a deal with Johnson & Johnson, but they raised concerns about the pace of total deliveries to an area where only 1.5 percent of people are vaccinated.
In the AmericasPan American Health Organization (PAHO) officials told reporters that the delta variant was “extremely concerning” as the mutation has spread to nearly two dozen countries across the Americas.
Mexico’s health ministry on Wednesday reported 20,685 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily jump since late January, and 611 deaths.
In the Middle east, Iran again hit a one-day high on Wednesday, with 39,357 new cases of COVID-19. The country reported 409 additional deaths, bringing the number of reported COVID-related deaths to 92,194.
in a EuropeBritain will cancel the quarantine of fully vaccinated travelers returning to England and Scotland from France, reversing a rule that has angered French politicians and thrown millions of vacations into chaos.
— From Reuters, Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 9 a.m. ET