Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga warned infections were spreading at an unprecedented rate, urging the country to watch the Games from home. New cases are being fuelled by the more infectious Delta variant. "If the increase of infection does not stop, the severe symptoms cases will increase and the medical system may possibly be further under strain," Mr Suga said.
Earlier, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura warned that the country had entered a new, "extremely frightening", stage of the pandemic. "I think that people cannot see ahead and, worrying how long this situation will last, they find it unbearable that they cannot return to normal daily life," Reuters quoted him as saying.