Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday made a decision to place Tokyo under the fourth state of emergency for the duration of the upcoming Olympics to curb a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year and are now scheduled to take place from July 23. The state of emergency will come into force on July 12 and will remain till August 22.

“We are hoping to keep people from moving around during the summer break and the Bon holidays until vaccinations move further along,” Kyodo News quoted Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the nation’s COVID-19 response, as saying.

According to Kyodo News, the Japanese government had initially planned to keep Tokyo under a quasi-state of emergency but had to change the decision due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government had reported 920 new virus cases, marking the highest daily figure since mid-May.

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach arrived in Tokyo on Thursday.

The IOC chief is expected to hold a meeting with concerned members of the Japanese bodies to decided on a new crowd policy in stadiums. Earlier, the organisers of the Tokyo Olympics were leaning towards cutting the number of spectators to a maximum of 5,000. (ANI)