icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Japanese PM Suga says record number of Covid cases ‘not a problem’ for the Olympics despite growing pressure

Japanese PM Suga says record number of Covid cases ‘not a problem’ for the Olympics despite growing pressure
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga dismissed concerns over the record high Covid-19 numbers on Tuesday amid dissent over the country’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games.

Suga said the new infection rates are “not a problem” for the Olympics, and that people in Tokyo should work from home to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.

Tokyo recorded 2,848 Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, the highest figure since the pandemic started.

Olympics organizers reported several positive cases of athletes and staff working at the event, including a Dutch tennis player and 12 security guards, according to Jiji News Agency.

Tokyo declared a fourth state of emergency this month, which is set to run until the end of the Olympics.

“It’s the Delta variant,” Kenji Shibuya, a former director of the Institute for Population Health at King’s College London, told Reuters in reference to the swift recent spike.

“The government has sent signals that people are supposed to stay home at the same time they celebrate the Games. It’s a totally inconsistent message,” he added.

Tuesday’s record numbers pose another threat to the PM’s results in the upcoming general election, set to be held on or before October 22.

Three days after the opening ceremony, a survey showed that Suga’s approval rating had dropped significantly due to a ‘lack of leadership’. Suga’s cabinet’s approval dropped 9% since June to 34%.

Dissent for the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has largely been centered around his handling of the pandemic and decision to proceed with hosting the Olympic Games, which was already delayed for a year. Over 450,000 people signed a petition to cancel the event due to the health risk.

Also on rt.com A tropical storm is going to hit Japan on Tuesday – and Olympic organizers are being accused of lying about extreme conditions

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization urged “everyone to take caution in what they do” at the games, and linked this year’s UEFA European Championship to a rise in positive cases in Europe.

In response to the reported health risks, Tokyo’s state of emergency effectively blocked fans from watching the Olympics in person.

Some nearby cities hosting events, however, allow spectators to attend.

But the growing numbers of cases – and the government’s sinking approval ratings – suggest the Olympics have not been a political win for the new head of the LDP.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts