Coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly in Tokyo and the rest of Japan as the country hosts the Olympics.
Authorities are extending the current state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area to Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba and Osaka from Monday to August 31 amid an increase in infections.
Measures already in place in Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa will also be extended until the end of August.
While five other regions, including Hokkaido, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka, will be subject to less stringent emergency restrictions.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the measures today, as 3,300 new cases of COVID were recorded in Tokyo.
In terms of Games-related cases, there have been 193, including athletes and support staff, since July 1.
Before a slight drop on Friday, Tokyo had reported a record increase in cases for three consecutive days, including 3,865 on Thursday. They have doubled since last week and officials have warned they could reach 4,500 a day within two weeks.
However, officials say this increase is unrelated to the Olympics.
Earlier on Friday, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said the peak in Tokyo despite the state of emergency is an “alarming development that is unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
Nationwide, Japan reported 10,687 new infections on Thursday – surpassing 10,000 for the first time. It has recorded 15,166 deaths from COVID-19, including 2,288 in Tokyo, since the start of the pandemic.
Japan has kept its cases and deaths lower than many other countries, but its seven-day moving average is rising and now stands at 28 per 100,000 and 88 per 100,000 in Tokyo.
Photo: Map shows Olympic venues across Japan