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Osaka cancels Olympic torch event as it declares state of emergency amid Covid-19 surge

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 63.7%. 1 min read.

Actor Satomi Ishihara (L) and Paralympian Aki Taguchi (R) light the celebration cauldron on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture on March 25, 2021. (Photo by KIM KYUNG-HOON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIM KYUNG-HOON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The governor of Japan's western region of Osaka has canceled the upcoming Olympic torch event amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

(CNN)The governor of Japan's western region of Osaka has canceled the upcoming Olympic torch event amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said the speed of infection was currently "very fast" and the infection rate "very high," declaring a state of a medical emergency in the region.

The medical system is at a very severe level," Yoshimura said in a news conference on Wednesday.

He also said the prefecture is discussing an alternative plan with the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee about holding the events at the Expo '70 Commemorative Park in the city of Suita without spectators.

Osaka prefecture was set to hold the Tokyo Olympic torch relay on April 14.

The relay began its 121-day domestic journey to Tokyo on March 25 in Fukushima.

Medical emergency

The Osaka prefectural government reported a record high of 878 daily new cases on Wednesday.

Osaka prefecture's first medical emergency due to the pandemic was declared on December 3 and lasted until the end of February.

Tokyo also reported 555 new cases on Wednesday -- the highest figure since the second state of emergency was lifted on March 21.

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