Tokyo’s Olympics chief said on Friday that Japan was committed to holding a safe Games this summer, as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted an expansion of contagion controls and with fresh calls for the Games to again be postponed or cancelled.
The government expanded quasi-emergency measures to 10 regions as a fourth wave of infections spread, casting more doubt on whether the Olympics can be held in Tokyo in fewer than 100 days.
“We’re not thinking of cancelling the Olympics,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said, speaking on behalf of the organising committee.
“We will continue to do what we can to implement a thorough safety regimen that will make people feel complete safety.”
Japan’s top health experts have acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has entered a fourth wave.
Daily cases in Osaka reached a record 1,209 on Friday, driven by a virulent strain of the virus first identified in Britain. New infections in Tokyo were 729 on Thursday, the most since early February when most of the nation was under a state of emergency.