Patients with Coexisting Diseases at Risk as Bed Shortages Hit Japan

Society Lifestyle

Osaka, Feb. 1 (Jiji Press)--Hospital bed capacity in Japan, mainly in urban areas, remains strained amid an unabated spread of the novel coronavirus, with elderly patients having concurrent diseases particularly at risk.

Some elderly COVID-19 patients have severe dementia or other diseases, such as a stroke, which is making it difficult to find hospitals to give them appropriate treatment.

In Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, the occupancy rate of hospital beds for coronavirus patients remains high around 80 pct.

The number of hospital beds varies from region to region, so the prefectural government coordinates hospitalization of coronavirus patients integrally through a relevant center that opened in March last year, with severely ill people and those at a high risk of developing severe symptoms given a priority.

"A lot of elderly coronavirus patients need treatment also for their chronic diseases. We are constantly worried about the shortage, especially of special beds, such as for dementia patients," Rumiko Asada, the head of the center, said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press