Japan Covid-19 daily infection high of 18,822: Olympic Covid convulsions
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Shigeru Omi, the chief coronavirus advisor to the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, took a different approach to the Tokyo Olympics. Omi, unlike Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, warned about probable Olympic coronavirus (Covid-19) convulsions in the shadow of the games.
Omi notified the government that holding the Olympics during the ongoing pandemic was “not normal to hold the Olympic Games in a situation like this.”
Since the Olympic timeframe began – and continuing after the ending of the Olympics – countless prefectures throughout Japan have witnessed daily high coronavirus infections. Tokyo hit major new daily highs compared with the past. Therefore, the announcement that Japan reached a new daily high of 18,822 coronavirus infections yesterday isn’t a shock – to people who warned about the likelihood of this happening.
The neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama have all hit coronavirus highs since the Olympic timeframe began. This was equally predictable because these prefectures are connected to Tokyo. Hence, for Suga and Koike to smugly praise the Olympics for going smoothly when Japan was being hit by its worst coronavirus situation is unbelievable – like Omi said before the Olympics, it isn’t “normal.”
Hospital beds allocated for coronavirus patients are being occupied at high numbers despite many people being told to recover at home. The current occupancy rate is 61 percent in Tokyo, 67 percent in Saitama, 70 percent in Chiba, and 75 percent in Kanagawa. Other prefectures are also struggling.
Thus, while Koike and Suga were happily meeting several weeks ago to self-congratulate themselves over the Olympics, the medical system was becoming under strain. Hence, in Tokyo, 3,668 people are currently hospitalized concerning the coronavirus. However, 20,726 people are recovering at home, 11,782 people are waiting for guidance and possible hospitalization, and 1,762 are in designated hotels where coronavirus support is provided. Therefore, many people who need hospital support are being denied access to preserve designated hospital beds.
Suga had ample time to prepare for the worst-case scenario nationally. The same applies to Koike and other regional governors. However, despite the longevity of the coronavirus and the knowledge that the Delta (first reported in India) variant was running rampant in many nations, it seems that the sit-back approach once more dictated the day.
Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “The psychological impact of the Tokyo Olympics and telling people to stay home during the State of Emergency ignited disdain. This is based on the utter hypocrisy of welcoming vast numbers of people at the same time. Similarly, for others who enjoyed the Olympics, it seemed that normality had returned based on the over-emphasis of the Olympics grabbing the main headlines. Therefore, like many warned before holding the Olympics, various factors have led to complacency at a time when the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant (first found in India) is already thriving in Japan.”
Omi said before the ending of the Olympics, “If infections spread at the current speed, it is extremely likely that medical facilities will be strained again.”
Yet instead of policies to address the issues, Suga and Koike took glee in staging the Olympics. Hence, when the worst coronavirus outbreak hit Japan concerning the Olympics timeframe, the fixation of the media, Suga, and Koike were the Olympics. Omi’s point of perceptions changed by the Olympics is validated by the spread of the coronavirus to all parts of Japan to a higher degree than in the past.
Omi said, “The biggest risk is the lack of a sense of crisis, and without it, the infections will further expand and put medical systems under severe strain.”
The Olympics helped to provide a “lack of sense of crisis” because vast numbers of people watched Japanese athletes win countless gold, silver, and bronze medals. Suga and Koike were also meeting dignitaries concerning the Olympics and the opening ceremony took place at a time of a new upsurge of coronavirus cases.
Hence, with the school holiday period to start, the Olympics, the enormous media attention given to the Olympics, allowing athletes from all over the world to enter Japan, IOC elites staying at plush hotels, and the future Obon holiday period being on the horizon – then all helped to generate a sense of normality. Indeed, the State of Emergency in Tokyo seemed unimportant because the focus was the Olympics.
In Northeast Asia and Oceania, the nations of Australia, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and others have all taken the coronavirus seriously. These nations lockdown seriously when coronavirus increases emerge. However, in Japan, holding the Olympics sums up the approach taken by the current Suga government – it is carefree and lax to the point of crassness, just like the failed Go-To Travel campaign.
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.
https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis
https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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