The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will be held without any spectators present, the organizers said Thursday. The move comes on the heels of the declaration of a new state of emergency for Tokyo that will run through at least the end of the Games on August 8 and follows a significant rise in the number of new coronavirus cases there.
Already, hundreds of Olympic athletes and officials from across the globe have arrived in Tokyo for the Games, which open on July 23. The organizers banned foreign spectators in March but later said they would allow local fans to attend with stadiums and arenas at 50% capacity.
Over 3.5 million tickets have been sold to people living in Japan.
The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo is now over 600, compared with 250 in the middle of March.
As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 186.1 million Covid-19 cases and over 4 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 170 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.
In the United States, the death toll, which a little over two weeks ago crossed the 600,000 mark, is now 621,912, an increase of 349 in the past day. Since the start of the pandemic the country has recorded 34.64 million cases, a higher figure than any other country and one that is followed by India, which now has 30.73 million officially recorded cases and 405,321 officially recorded deaths, although experts now believe that both number are in reality significantly higher.
The United States added 15,259 new cases over the past 24 hours, a 35% 14-day increase and a trend that is fueled by the highly contagious India, or Delta, variant.
Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 3.29 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Wednesday morning, an increase of 0.04 billion and the equivalent of more than 43 doses for every 100 people, a one-dose increase per hundred over the previous 24 hours.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 182.9 million people in the United States – or 55.1% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 47.6%, or 157.9 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 331.7 million. Breaking this down further, 67.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 173.6 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 58.4% of the same group – or 150.8 million people – is fully vaccinated.
Finally, New York City held a parade on Wednesday for its essential workers, those people who kept the city going even as many residents sheltered at home. The parade ran along Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall, following the path of the so-called Canyon of Heroes, where past parades have honored everyone from astronauts to royalty, foreign dignitaries, Olympic medalists, and championship sports teams.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)