Japan's COVID-19 Bed Occupancy Rate Rises to 48 Pct

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--The occupancy rate for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients stood at 48.0 pct in Japan as of July 26, up 10.8 percentage points from a week earlier, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The rate grew by over 10 points in 21 of Japan's 47 prefectures amid the seventh wave of novel coronavirus infections caused by the spread of the BA.5 omicron subvariant, suggesting that the strain on the country's medical system is becoming more severe.

By prefecture, Kanagawa had the highest bed occupancy rate, at 71.2 pct, followed by Okinawa, at 69.9 pct, Wakayama, at 67.1 pct, Fukuoka, at 66.7 pct, Shizuoka, at 66.0 pct, Kumamoto, at 64.6 pct, Kagoshima, at 63.0 pct, and Hyogo, at 62.1 pct.

Kanagawa, Tochigi and Shizuoka saw their respective rates jump over 20 points week on week, while 18 other prefectures logged increases of over 10 points. Only Wakayama and Shimane logged week-on-week declines in the occupancy rate.

The government is considering reclassifying COVID-19 into the Class V infectious disease category, which includes seasonal influenza, from Class II as the current category status is believed to be partly responsible for the medical system strain.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press