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Tokyo Hits New High For Daily COVID-19 Cases. This Time, No Olympians Are Among Them

Tokyo reported 3,177 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number of infections recorded so far for the city.
Yuichi Yamazaki
Getty Images
Tokyo reported 3,177 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number of infections recorded so far for the city.

With the Olympics underway, Tokyo has set a new, unfortunate record: for coronavirus cases.

Tokyo had 3,177 new positive cases on Tuesday, according to the city's government. The city has become Japan's biggest COVID-19 hot spot and is host to most of the Olympic events.

That's the highest number of cases for the city — topping the previous record, set just a day before — and it's far higher than when Olympic personnel began arriving in the city on July 1, when the number of daily new cases was under 700.

The rise in new cases nationally is also setting records, according to local news outlets. Japan's Kyodo News reported that the number of new cases confirmed in the country on Wednesday was 9,583 — a big jump from a week earlier.

One bright spot: For the first time in four days, no Olympic athletes tested positive for the coronavirus in the preceding day.

But 16 Olympics-related personnel did test positive, including two members of the media. Since the start of July, 169 Olympic-affiliated people have tested positive, including at least 17 athletes.

A majority of the Japanese have told pollsters that they are opposed to hosting the Games during the ongoing pandemic. Japan has a low rate of vaccination, with 26% of the population fully vaccinated.

The country remains highly susceptible to coronavirus outbreaks, and many Japanese fear they will get the virus from people who are in the country for the Olympics.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urgedpeople to stay home and watch the Olympics on TV.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.