The country recorded 4,204 new infections on Friday – a rise of 785 on the same day the previous week, which saw 3,419 cases reported, according to the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Infections are also climbing in Tokyo, with the seven-day average daily test positivity rate soaring by 42 per cent, shows data from the capital’s Metropolitan Government.
Referring to the figures, the authority said it is ‘highly possible’ that the healthcare system will face a crisis, urging for a ‘robust plan and system’ amid the increased spread of the Delta variant.
Only 23 per cent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated. Meanwhile in Britain, 69.5 per cent of adults have received both jabs, according to UK Government data up to July 22.
Experts are concerned that the Games, which started yesterday in Tokyo, could accelerate already rising case numbers in the city and across the country as a whole.
The country recorded 4,204 new infections on Friday – a rise of 785 on the same day the previous week, which saw 3,419 cases reported, according to the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
In a statement, Tokyo Metropolitan Government said: ‘The rapid increase in confirmed cases makes it highly possible that the healthcare system would face a crisis.
‘It is urgent that the robust plan and system are put in place in case the rate of the high risk group for severe Covid19 rises as spread of Delta variant increases.’
It added: ‘The increased rate of confirmed cases has been getting higher since June.
‘The infection may spread more rapidly and the number of confirmed cases may far exceed that in the third wave within two weeks if the Delta variant and others become much more dominant, and the increase rate rises further.’
The Summer 2021 Olympics were delayed from 2020 over the pandemic but, even as the Games opened on Friday with no spectators and intense precautions for athletes, Covid concerns were far from vanquished.
The opening match of the women’s beach volleyball tournament was cancelled on Saturday due to coronavirus.
People walk along Takeshita shopping street in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday. Despite draconian restrictions on athletes and delegations attending the Tokyo Olympics, life continues with a degree of relative normality outside of the quarantine bubble
People walk along a crowded shopping street in Tokyo, Japan, on July 24. Only 23 per cent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated. Meanwhile in Britain, 69.5 per cent of adults have received both jabs, according to UK Government data up to July 22
People film and photograph an animated billboard on in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday afternoon
And on July 8, the city declared a state of emergency due to rising Covid cases.
Czech Republic star Marketa Nausch-Slukova tested positive earlier this week, forcing her and partner Barbora Hermannova to pull out of the contest and hand their Japanese opponents a 2-0 victory.
Six members of the Czech Olympic team have tested positive so far and the country’s Olympic Committee had launched an investigation into a charter flight bringing athletes to Tokyo.
Slukova, who finished fifth at the London Olympics in 2012, and Hermannova are the world’s 16th ranked pair.
Czech Republic star Marketa Nausch-Slukova tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week
Fireworks explode during the Opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on Friday at the city’s Olympic Stadium on Friday
Japanese Tennis star Naomi Osaka poses with the torch in her hand after lighting the Olympic Flame at Friday’s ceremony
Slukova’s husband and coach Simon Nausch, and men’s beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic, have also tested positive.
Olympics organisers confirmed on Saturday that one more athlete at the Tokyo Games had tested positive for Covid-19.
Olympics-related cases rose by 17, organisers said, bringing the total number of disclosed cases to 123.