tokyo olympics state of emergency
Courtesy Twitter: @BleacherReport

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declares a state of emergency in Tokyo due to concerns regarding COVID-19.

The Tokyo Olympics, set to start later this month, are still on. However, spectators will not be allowed in the venues for the Games, per Ana Cabrera of CNN.

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a COVID-related state of emergency in Tokyo Thursday, which will last through the duration of the Olympics.

According to Mari Yamaguchi of the Associated Press, government officials for Japan proposed a plan for a state of emergency for Monday, July 12 until Sunday, Aug. 22, which would encompass the Games (Friday, July 23 until Sunday, Aug. 8). This came amid a Thursday morning meeting with government officials and experts on the matter.

There is concern regarding COVID-19 and that the number of cases will increase throughout the event. The 2020 Summer Olympics was originally scheduled to occur last summer, four years following the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but coronavirus concerns are what delayed the event until this year.

Additionally per Mari Yamaguchi, experts previously estimated that Tokyo’s daily-case total for COVID-19 may hit 1,000 before the Olympics and further increase into the thousands during the month of August. On Wednesday, 920 new cases were reported, which was the highest mark since May 13’s report (1,010 new cases).

A notable aspect of the issue is the vaccination rate in Japan, which is currently 15%.

Government medical adviser Dr. Shigeru Omi says, “The infections are in their expansion phase and everyone in this country must firmly understand the seriousness of it,” per Mari Yamaguchi.