As Japan postponed Olympics 2020, Tokyo’s Coronavirus cases are now spiking which have raised questions about whether the authorities understated the extent of the outbreak. The sudden spike in confirmed cases has also raised questions whether officials delayed enforcement of self-isolating and social distancing measures in hope that the games would start as scheduled. Currently, Japan has more than 1,800 confirmed Coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has already claimed more than 50 lives in the country.
The former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in a tweet said, “In order to make an impression that the city was taking control of the Coronavirus, Tokyo avoided making strict requests and made the number of patients look smaller”.
He further added, “The Coronavirus has spread while they waited. It was Olympics first, not Tokyo’s residents”.
An opposition lawmaker from the constitutional Democratic Party of Japan reportedly also asked if this was just a ‘coincidence’. However, the health minister Katsunobu Kato said, “absolutely no relationship” between the Olympic postponement and the number of confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, PM Shinzo Abe reportedly said that Japan is now on the brink of a huge jump in cases as it becomes increasingly difficult to trace and keep clusters under control. He also warned that Japan could anytime face a situation similar to the United States or Europe. Furthermore, he cited experts as saying a big reason for the recent rise is the growing number of cases that can’t be linked and a jump in infections from abroad. He reportedly told people to ‘be prepared for a long battle’.
Amidst the rising number of cases, Japan also banned all foreigners travelling on a US passport. According to reports, the Japanese Foreign Ministry will be raising the infectious disease warning in regards to the United States to Level 3, in a 4-tier grading scale wherein Level 4 is the most serious warning. The Ministry is also expected to advise Japanese nationals to cancel any planned trips to the United States.