COVID-19 Bed Occupancy Tops 50 Pct in 8 Japan Prefectures

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Jan. 5 (Jiji Press)--The occupancy rate for hospital beds for patients of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus topped 50 pct in eight of Japan’s 47 prefectures as of Wednesday last week, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The rate is for beds that are supposed to be secured during the infection peak. A figure of 50 pct or higher is recognized as representing Stage 4, the worst level on the four-tier scale for gauging the degree of the spread of the coronavirus. Stage 4 indicates that infections are spreading explosively, and areas in the stage can be covered by a state of emergency.

The eight prefectures are Tokyo, eastern Japan’s Gunma and Saitama, Aichi in central Japan, and Shiga, Osaka, Hyogo and Hiroshima in western Japan.

Hyogo had the highest rate, at 67.3 pct, up 5.4 percentage points from a week before, followed by Osaka, at 64.4 pct, up 0.6 point, Aichi, at 63.5 pct, and Tokyo, at 61.4 pct. The rate came to 55.2 pct in Gunma, 55.9 pct in Saitama, 51.4 pct in Shiga and 55.2 pct in Hiroshima.

Besides the eight, 22 prefectures saw their rates exceed 20 pct, an indication that they are in a Stage 3 situation with a rapid increase of infections. The rate stood at 40.4 pct in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and 28.4 pct in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press