Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, July 23
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,359 daily coronavirus cases Friday amid public concern about surging infections in the capital where the opening ceremony of the Olympics will be held later in the day.
- The torch relay of the Tokyo Olympics quietly concluded its journey through the Japanese capital Friday morning hours ahead of the opening ceremony, having spent most of the 15-day final leg of its nationwide tour off roads and away from the public due to a surge in coronavirus infections.
- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with Pfizer Inc. CEO Albert Bourla in Tokyo on Friday and asked the U.S. firm to bring forward some of its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries planned for this fall in the face of concerns in the country about a supply shortage, officials said.
- The Tokyo Olympics will open Friday night under unprecedented conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with many questioning the value of holding the games while still yearning to see inspired sporting moments.
- The U.S. government on Thursday expressed strong dismay toward China for rejecting the World Health Organization's proposal for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the novel coronavirus, calling the country "irresponsible."
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, July 22
- The Japanese government is considering asking Pfizer Inc. to speed up its delivery of COVID-19 vaccine beyond the fall amid concern about a supply shortage, a government source said Thursday.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,979 new daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest number since mid-January, as fears grow that the Olympics could become a superspreader event amid the transmission of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
- Japanese Emperor Naruhito told International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach during their meeting on Thursday that it is "not easy" to hold the games while taking full measures against COVID-19.
- The Tokyo Games' organizing committee reported 12 new positive COVID-19 cases relating to the Olympics on Thursday, with two of the cases involving foreign athletes residing in the athletes' village.
- Australia has been regarded as one of the world's success stories in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but mixed messaging and a sluggish vaccine rollout has caused widespread frustration and confusion.