COVID-19 Bed Occupancy Tops 50 Pct in 6 Japan Prefectures

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Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--The occupancy rate for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients exceeded 50 pct in six of Japan's 47 prefectures as of Wednesday, the health ministry has said.

The rate for beds that are supposed to be secured during the infection peak newly topped 50 pct in Aichi, Mie and Osaka, joining Hokkaido, Hyogo and Kochi, where the rate had already been above the threshold.

With a bed occupancy rate of 50 pct or higher, a prefecture is recognized as being in Stage 4, the worst level on the four-tier scale for gauging the degree of the spread of the coronavirus, which indicates that infections are spreading explosively.

The rate was highest in Hyogo at 63.6 pct, down by 5.3 percentage points from a week before, followed by Osaka, at 60.4 pct, up 11.1 points.

The ministry also said that 28 prefectures, including the six, saw their COVID-19 bed occupancy rates exceed 20 pct, meeting the definition of Stage 3, the second-worst level on the scale indicating a rapid increase of infections.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press