Tokyo Hospitals’ Capacity At Risk as Cases Surge

Tokyo has raised its alert level to the highest level on Thursday, as the medical system of the most populous prefecture of Japan continued to face acute strains after recording an alarming jump of 822 new COVID-19 cases.

Tokyo has raised its alert level to the highest level on Thursday, as the medical system of the most populous prefecture of Japan continued to face acute strains after recording an alarming jump of 822 new COVID-19 cases.

Masataka Inokuchi, deputy head of the Tokyo Medical Association, said that healthcare professionals fear that they might soon become unable to treat other patients with different health issues that require immediate treatment.

This crisis has forced Tokyo to assign a “red” alert for its medical preparedness for the first time.

“It is becoming difficult to balance caring for coronavirus patients and regular medical work. We have even exhausted all of our reserve resources,” Inokuchi said during a news briefing. “We fear a serious dysfunction of the medical system in two weeks, on December 31, if the number of new daily infections keeps growing at the current pace.”

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the metropolitan government decided to issue a special coronavirus alert for the year-end and new year periods to promote public awareness.

Koike urged residents of Tokyo to stay at home as much as possible in the coming days despite the upcoming festivities in Japan for the nearing New Year season.

 “If you need to go out and get essentials, please limit the time you spend and the people you go with,” she said in a news conference. “We need to turn this holiday season into a special period to stop the spread of the infections.”


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