COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Japan as foreign dignitaries, including first lady Jill Biden, touch down ahead of the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics. On Thursday, Tokyo logged 1,970 new infections—the highest number since mid-January as the city swelters under a state of emergency over the worsening wave of the pandemic.
With just 24 hours to go before Japan opens these doomed Games, at least 18 athletes have already been sidelined after contracting the virus, including American teen tennis sensation Coco Gauff. Others, like American Paralympian Becca Meyers, who is deaf and blind, had to pull out of the competition after Japanese organizers cited COVID-19 restrictions when prohibiting her mother to come as her personal assistant.
Olympic organizers confirmed that just 950 stakeholders or invited guests like Biden will attend the Opening Ceremonies. Each country’s flag-bearers and teams will take part while masked and be required to socially distance during the entrance procession.
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