Tokyo Olympics kicks off amid concerns of COVID-19


HONG KONG, July 23 (Xinhua) — The Tokyo Olympics kicked off on Friday with the host country Japan facing a new wave of COVID-19 infections since April, while the pandemic is still wreaking havoc in other Asia-Pacific countries.

The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,359 new cases amid public concern that infections could hit record highs during the Tokyo Olympics.

The seven-day rolling average of cases is 1,386 per day, an increase of 46.5 percent from the previous week. Tokyo is currently under a fourth COVID-19 state of emergency until Aug. 22.

Health experts advising the Tokyo metropolitan government have warned that Tokyo might face a “critical” COVID-19 situation if the virus continues to spread at the current rate, and concerns about the transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant have also been on the rise.

Pakistan has confirmed 1,425 new cases over the past 24 hours, leading the country’s tally to cross the 1-million mark, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said.

It was the first time when the country reported less than 2,000 new cases in a day after almost one week’s time, the NCOC’s data showed.

With the new patients, the country’s number of overall confirmed cases rose to 1,000,034, the NCOC, the department leading Pakistan’s campaign against the pandemic, said.

A total of 22,939 people have died of the disease nationwide, including 11 patients who died over the last 24 hours, the NCOC said, adding that 2,525 people are in critical condition.

Indonesia’s Health Ministry reported that the coronavirus cases across the country rose by 49,071 within the past 24 hours to 3,082,410, with the death toll adding by 1,566 to 80,598.

This has been the highest daily number of fatalities the country ever reported since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Additional 38,988 recovered patients were discharged from hospitals, raising the total number of recoveries from the pandemic in the Southeast Asian country to 2,431,911, according to the ministry.

Malaysia reported 15,573 new infections in the highest daily spike since the outbreak, bringing the national total to 980,491, the Health Ministry said Friday.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press conference that 32 of the new cases are imported and 15,541 are local transmissions.

Another 144 deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 7,718.

India’s total tally rose to 31,293,062, as 35,342 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, according to the federal health ministry’s latest data.

Besides, 483 deaths due to the pandemic since Thursday morning took the total death toll to 419,470.

There are still 405,513 active cases in the country with a decrease of 3,881 during the past 24 hours.

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,845 new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,537,097.

The DOH said the death toll stayed at 26,891 after no patient died from the viral disease.

The government imposed “heightened restrictions” in Metro Manila until July 31, a few hours after the DOH confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

South Korea reported 1,630 more cases, raising the total number of infections to 185,733.

Of the new cases, 516 were Seoul residents and 403 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

Fifty-six cases were imported, lifting the combined figure to 11,397.

Three more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 2,066. The total fatality rate stood at 1.11 percent.

A total of 1,133 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 164,206.

Cambodia reported 825 new infections including 335 imported cases, pushing the national total caseload to 71,244, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement.

Thirty-four more fatalities had been recorded, taking the overall death toll to 1,222, the ministry said, adding that 897 other patients had recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 63,474. Enditem