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News Article

Olympic Host Hits COVID-19 Infection Record

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 07/27/2021 - 14:48

As over 10,000 athletes compete for an Olympic medal on 41 different sports on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the city reaches a record of 2,848 COVID-19 cases. Under the surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, authorities have asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients, reports Reuters.

The climbing number of cases are taking their toll in the host city and drawing more criticism to the event. During the inaugural day of the Olympic Games, protestors met outside the arena holding signs with the words “Olympics kill the poor.” Maya Yoshida, the captain of Japan’s men’s soccer team, told the New Yorker that a lot of people’s tax money was going to these Olympics but “despite that, people cannot go and watch. So, you wonder about who the Olympics is for, and what it is for.” The situation has also hurt Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval ratings, which are at their lowest since he took office in Sept. 2020.

Within the Olympics, new cases directly associated with the games were down to seven, including two athletes, said organizers. This brings the total number of Olympic Games-related cases to 155, which have been confirmed through an extensive testing program that aimed to maintain safety during the games.

According to Al Jazeera, the majority of cases are among the younger, unvaccinated people. Cases are also rising sharply as Japan’s inoculation drive loses steam due to supply uncertainty. Many serious cases involve those in their 50s, who now dominate Tokyo’s nearly 3,000 hospitalized patients and are gradually filling up available beds. The same news outlet reports that the Games’ organizers “were keen to detach the event from the latest caseload figures.”

The Olympics inauguration took place on Friday, June 23, and will last for 12 more days until the event closes in August 8. During this period, Tokyo will remain in a state of emergency imposed by its government just weeks prior to the event. 

Mexico’s athletes attending to the games have previously received the COVID-19 vaccination complete scheme and live under the strict rules of the Olympic village in Tokyo. So far, the Mexican delegation has two bronze medals, which were obtained in mixed team archery by Alejandra Valencia and Luis Álvarez and in synchronized 10-meter platform dives by Gabriela Agúndez and Alejandra Orozco.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst