The metropolitan government of Tokyo, Japan reported a record of 472 new cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday, which marks 3 consecutive days of new high counts for the cases.
In total, this brings Tokyo’s case count to 13,163 among a population of almost 14 million in the world’s biggest metropolis. While those numbers still pale in comparison to some other large cities, notably New York City which has seen 230,000 confirmed cases in a population of less than 9 million, the auspicious timing of the rise comes as the IOC approaches meetings to decide the future of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Meetings with the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are scheduled to begin in September as part of an effort to rebuild domestic support for hosting the games. Those efforts will fight the results of recent surveys that saw less than 24% of citizens were in favor of holding the Olympics and Paralympics, with a third of those surveyed saying that they thought the Games should be canceled altogether.
The IOC continues to say they’re doing everything they can to ensure that the Games happen with spectators.
The country as a whole has seen its cases climb this week. Through the middle of June, Japan was recording less than 60 new case per day. On Saturday, the country, like the city of Tokyo, recorded a new record high of 1,464 daily positive tests.
According to Worldmeters.com, Japan still ranks just 155th globally in positive tests/capita, better than most large and densely-populated nations. Japan also has a very low testing rate compared to most developed nations.
Tokyo is scheduled to host an athletics (track & field) event at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium beginning August 23. That field will include only Japanese athletes and a few foreign athletes who compete for Japanese professional clubs.
The last week marked the original dates that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were scheduled to begin. The Games are now set to begin on July 23, 2021 and run through August 8, 2021. The swimming competition is scheduled to begin on July 24.