Japanese officials expressed alarm on Thursday as Tokyo, the host city of the Olympic Games, reported a record number of new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row.
“We have never experienced the expansion of the infections of this magnitude,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said, according to The Associated Press.
Tokyo reported 3,865 new cases on Thursday. Katsunobu said cases were rising around the rest of the country as well, with over 9,500 new cases registered nationally.
While Japan has so far avoided the kind of massive outbreak seen in some other countries, its seven-day rolling case average is rising.
“While almost nothing is helping to slow the infections, there are many factors that can accelerate them,” Dr. Shigeru Omi, a government medical adviser, said, referring to the ongoing Olympic Games and summer vacation.
“The biggest risk is the lack of a sense of crisis, and without it the infections will further expand and put medical systems under severe strain,” he said, according to the AP.