Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday declared to place Tokyo under the fourth state of emergency for the duration of the upcoming Olympics to curb a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was postponed and now scheduled to take place from July 23. The state of emergency will come into force on July 12 and will remain till August 22.
According to livemint.com, Kyodo News quoted Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the nation’s COVID-19 response, “We are hoping to keep people from moving around during the summer break and the Bon holidays until vaccinations move further along.”
As per Kyodo News, the Japanese government had initially decided to keep Tokyo under a quasi-state of emergency but had to change the decision due to a rapid increase in the COVID-19 surge. The Tokyo metropolitan government had reported 920 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday which is the highest daily figure since mid-May.
On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach arrived in Tokyo. He is expected to hold a meeting with concerned members of the Japanese bodies to plan on a new crowd policy in stadiums. Before, the organisers of the Tokyo Olympics were deciding to cut the number of spectators to a maximum of 5,000. The foreign spectators are banned, only domestic spectators are allowed. As the Tokyo Olympics is starting from July 23 to August 8 with 10,000 spectators or 50% of the venue.