Japan extends coronavirus state of emergency weeks before Summer Olympics
Japan on Friday extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas of the country through at least June 20 in response to rising coronavirus cases, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: The country is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in July, though many, including doctors associations, scientists and high-profile business executives, have called for the games to be canceled to avoid a larger outbreak.
Context: Some international scientists said that cancelling the games would be the "safest option."
- Some doctors fear that Japan's health system may be unable to accommodate the international teams' medical needs as medical professionals respond to new domestic cases.
- The state of emergency had previously been scheduled to end on May 31.
By the numbers: Japan currently has more than 62,000 active cases, 2% of which are in critical condition.
The big picture: International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said last week that the games will begin even if Tokyo or other parts of Japan are under a COVID-19 state of emergency.
- Coates added the IOC has a mitigation plan to help prevent transmissions, though scientists have warned that it emphasizes ineffective techniques, like temperature checks and contact tracing apps.
Go deeper: Japan's 11th hour COVID Olympics nightmare