Saturday’s Yomiuri wrote that the hospital capacity in the nation’s capital is increasingly under heavy stress due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. Over 800 patients were hospitalized as of Friday, leaving 700 COVID-19 beds vacant. Since the daily caseload has reached almost three hundred for several days in a row, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and hospital authorities are worried they may run out of beds quickly. Their concerns are reportedly compounded by the fact that the virus appears to be spreading among older people, who tend to suffer more serious symptoms than younger patients.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s Mainichi reported in its lead item that the number of commercial hotel rooms that the TMG has secured for patients with mild or no symptoms declined sharply from 2,865 as of June 30 to 196 on July 15. As hotel operators have been charging the government about 5,000 yen ($45) per room per day irrespective of occupancy, the TMG reportedly ended most of its leasing contracts last month since most of the rooms were vacant throughout June. However, the recent resurgence has triggered a shortage, prompting TMG to make arrangements to sign new contracts with more than ten hotel operators in the near future to secure additional beds quickly.
Yomiuri wrote today that according to the Health Ministry, a total of 4,091 infected people required treatment in hospitals as of midnight on Sunday. This was the first time since May 15 for the number to exceed the 4,000 benchmark. Among the hospitalized patients, 43 were reportedly suffering from serious symptoms.