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Coronavirus Cases At The Tokyo Olympics Continue To Increase

A passerby looks on while wearing a protective face covering inside an empty Olympic Stadium, host to the Athletics competition, at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday.
Patrick Smith
/
Getty Images
A passerby looks on while wearing a protective face covering inside an empty Olympic Stadium, host to the Athletics competition, at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday.

Organizers at the Tokyo Summer Olympics have reported one of the highest daily increases of coronavirus cases since they started keeping records on July 1.

Since Wednesday, 24 people linked to the Games have tested positive — including three athletes. That brings the total of Olympic-related officials to catch the virus to 193 people, including 20 athletes.

The increase comes the same day government officials in Tokyo reported the highest-ever number of daily cases (3,865) in the capital since the pandemic began last year.

Health experts in Japan warn that the surge is straining local hospitals. But organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are downplaying the danger. "We've been trying to minimize the impact to the local medical system. And in that respect, we've been absolutely right on track to deliver the safe and secure games for both perspectives," said Takaya Masa, a spokesman for Tokyo 2020.

Speaking during a news conference at the Olympic media press center, Masa did say that two non-Japanese people who tested positive during the Games are now in the hospital, but their cases are not serious.

The Summer Olympics are being held without spectators in Tokyo as the city remains under a state of emergency because of the coronavirus.

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

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.