Japan expands virus emergency after record spikes amid Games

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk across a shopping alley near Ueno Station in Tokyo Friday, July 30, 2021. Japan is set to expand the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo to neighboring areas and the western city of Osaka on Friday in the wake of a record-breaking surge in infections while the capital hosts the Olympics. (AP Photo/Kantaro Komiya)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo on Friday following record spikes in infections as the capital hosts the Olympics.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared an emergency in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, near Tokyo, as well as in the western city of Osaka, effective Monday until Aug. 31. Emergency measures already in place in Tokyo will be extended until the end of August, after the Olympics and well into the Paralympics which start Aug. 24.

Tokyo has reported a record increase in cases for three days in a row, including 3,865 on Thursday, before logging another 3,300 on Friday. The cases have doubled since last week, although officials say the surge is unrelated to the Olympics.

 

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