• Staff report, Jiji, Kyodo


Tokyo reported 487 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as the country’s top COVID-19 adviser said holding the Olympics in the capital under the current circumstances would be “unusual.”

“Holding (the games) in the current situation, amid the pandemic, would be unusual,” Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease expert who heads a government subcommittee on the coronavirus, told lawmakers at the Diet. Still, Omi said that if the games were to be held, the event should be scaled down as much as possible.

Shigeru Omi | KYODO
Shigeru Omi | KYODO

Tokyo and nine other prefectures are currently under a coronavirus state of emergency scheduled to run through June 20, just over a month before the July 23 start of the Tokyo Olympics.

Cases in the capital have been trending downward and Wednesday’s figure was substantially lower than the 743 cases seen a week ago and the 766 recorded May 19.

Tokyo’s daily infection tally averaged 500.4 for the last week, down from 607.7 the preceding week. The number of severe cases under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s standards rose by three from the previous day to 73.

Elsewhere, hard-hit Osaka Prefecture reported 213 new cases and 27 deaths linked to the virus, while Hokkaido confirmed 317 cases and 10 deaths. Okinawa Prefecture, meanwhile, reported 297 cases, down five from a week before, and one coronavirus-linked death.

On Tuesday, Japan confirmed 2,642 cases nationwide, while the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients fell 26 from the previous day to 1,323. New coronavirus-linked deaths totaled 101 cases, including 21 in Osaka Prefecture and 16 in Hokkaido.

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