The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee on Thursday reported 24 more COVID-19 cases associated with the games, the highest daily count since infections began being compiled from the start of this month.
The 24 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 193, include three athletes from overseas in Tokyo for the Olympics, which opened last Friday following an unprecedented one-year postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic. The committee said the three were all staying in the athletes' village.
Two people from overseas involved with the Olympics have been hospitalized so far, neither in serious condition, organizing committee spokesman Masanori Takaya said.
The daily figures were announced hours before Tokyo, which is hosting the games while under a state of emergency, logged a record 3,865 daily COVID-19 cases.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike denied any link between the surge in infections and the Olympics, saying, "More people have been staying at home as clearly shown by the rise in TV viewership."
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams stressed that athletes and staff are tested frequently and living under strict quarantine measures, making it highly improbable that the games could become a source of infections spreading to the wider population.
"They really are living in a different parallel world to all intents and purposes," he told a press briefing.
The numbers issued by the organizing committee do not include those announced by Japanese central and local governments. The 24 cases also include 15 contractors and six games-linked officials.
American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a two-time world champion, will not be competing after testing positive for COVID-19, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a tweet. The Australian track and field team are temporarily self-isolating after coming into brief contact with him.
Another pole vaulter, German Chiaraviglio of Argentina, said in an Instagram post that he is also out of the games after a positive test.
Of the 24 COVID-19 cases, 17 were residents of Japan, the organizing committee said, adding 39,209 people from overseas had entered Japan for the games as of Tuesday.
Health experts are warning that the surge in COVID-19 cases is putting an increasing strain on the medical system, with the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga considering expanding the state of emergency to three prefectures surrounding Tokyo.
The medical and scientific director of the organizing committee, Richard Budgett, said the games are equipped to deal with infections among its ranks and would not pose a burden to local hospitals.
"Obviously it's challenging for any country when there's rising cases of COVID-19, but I am confident that the Olympics are being run without actually affecting that essential secondary care in hospital provision."