Saturday’s Nikkei took up the Health Ministry’s data on hospital bed occupancy rates for COVID-19 patients, saying that the situation is at the worst level on a scale of 1 to 4 in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Aichi, Mie, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kochi. According to the ministry, 22 other prefectures are at level 3.
Sankei ran a similar story, saying that since many hospitals in Tokyo and elsewhere are already stretched to the limit due to the continued rise in new cases, hospital administrators and physicians have stressed that they will no longer be able to respond to the prefectural authorities’ calls for securing more beds for COVID-19 patients. They are reportedly complaining about an acute shortage of staff to care for COVID-19 patients and are concerned that treating non-COVID patients will become extremely difficult if further healthcare resources are shifted to combating the coronavirus.
In a related piece, Asahi and Nikkei wrote that SDF nurses currently providing medical support at a hospital and a care facility for the handicapped in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, will wrap up their operations today as originally planned because cluster infections there have largely been contained.