July 27 (UPI) — New cases of COVID-19 in Tokyo reached a record high on Tuesday, health officials said, less than a week into the Summer Olympic Games there.
Officials said there were more than 2,800 new cases, which surpassed the previous daily mark set in January.
Experts believe the Delta coronavirus variant is partly responsible for the surge in cases in Japan recently.
Since the start of the pandemic last year, Tokyo has seen more than 200,000 cases.
To tamp down on the spread, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged residents to stay home rather than gathering to watch the Olympics.
Suga said the Delta variant has spread quickly and that people in their 40s and 50s are requiring hospitalization.
Tokyo is presently under its fourth state of emergency due to the pandemic, which is part of the reason organizers barred spectators from the Games. The emergency will last until the Olympics are over on Aug. 8.
To date, Japan has recorded 876,000 coronavirus cases, according to John Hopkins University.