Experts: Covid-19 status still at disaster level

Japanese experts monitoring infections in Tokyo say a surge in new cases has been out of control for several weeks, and has been putting a serious strain on the medical system.

Officials confirmed over 4,700 new cases in Tokyo on Thursday. The daily tally has fallen for four days in a row compared to the same days last week. But experts say the situation is still at disaster level.
Disease Control and Prevention Center Director Ohmagari Norio said, "Numbers of new cases appear to have leveled off, but the situation will get worse if they stay at such a high level. It's possible that some people can't get tested quickly and that the actual number of infected people is even higher."

The government is pressing ahead with a vaccine rollout, but there has been a setback.
Unused vials of the Moderna vaccine were found to contain foreign substances. The health ministry has decided to pull more than 1.6 million doses. There are no reports of health problems among people who have had Moderna jabs.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the Tokyo Paralympics say they have confirmed 15 more coronavirus cases among people involved.

Two of the infected people are athletes from overseas. That brings the total number of infections connected to the Paralympics to 184. The organizers say one person has been hospitalized but is not in a serious condition.

Across Japan more than 24,900 new cases were reported on Thursday. There are 1,974 patients with serious symptoms. That is a record high for the 14th day in a row.