Japan’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose above 1,000 on Wednesday, most of them from a quarantined cruise liner, as Olympics organizers dismissed speculation that the Tokyo Summer Games could be canceled.
Thirty-six new infections, the biggest one-day increase to date, were reported on Wednesday in locations ranging from Kumamoto prefecture in the southwest to Hokkaido in the north. The Asia Insiders reports.
That underlined the virus’s spread across the country and raised questions about whether the Olympic Games, due to start in late July, can go ahead.
According to a report on Reuters, coronavirus is spreading worldwide, with South Korea, Europe and Iran hit hard, and several countries have reported their first confirmed cases, taking the total to some 80 nations hit with the flu-like illness that can lead to pneumonia.
The number of cases in mainland China, where the outbreak originated in December, has reached 80,270, while the death toll had risen by 38 to 2,981 by March 3.
There have been more than 125 deaths outside China.
The new cases in Japan pushed the total over 1,000, according to the latest calculations by Reuters – 706 are from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, which has been quarantined for weeks off Yokohama. Twelve people have died in Japan, six from the cruise chip, the health ministry said.
The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics said the option of cancelling the Games was not on the table, responding to deepening speculation of a delay or cancellation.
“I am totally not considering this,” Yoshiro Mori told reporters at a briefing when asked about a possible cancellation.
Asked when the organizers could decide on changes to the Olympics, Mori, a former prime minister, said: “I’m not God, so I don’t know.”
By Reuters/ Asia Insiders