Experts warn of 'critical' COVID surge in Tokyo during Olympics

Kyodo News

Posted at Jul 21 2021 06:41 PM

Health experts warned Wednesday of a possible "critical" coronavirus situation in Tokyo, as they estimated infections could surge even further in early August during the Tokyo Olympics.

The experts advising the Tokyo metropolitan government said the seven-day moving average of new infections in the capital could reach 2,600 per day as of Aug. 3 if the virus continues to spread at the current pace, a worse scenario than in the third wave that swept across Tokyo in the winter. The Olympics will be held between Friday and Aug. 8.

"In less than two weeks, the situation in Tokyo will be critical far beyond the third wave," the experts said in the estimate.

Daily coronavirus cases topped 2,000 in Tokyo in early and mid-January, the fastest increases so far.

The experts updated their estimate after saying last week the moving average could increase to around 2,400 by Aug. 11.

Tokyo, currently under a fourth COVID-19 state of emergency amid a resurgence of infections, has seen daily cases top 1,000 in recent days.

With the Olympics, public concern remains high that the games could become a superspreader event with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, first found in India.