Yomiuri and Nikkei wrote that the GOJ is considering revising the existing Infectious Diseases Control Law to allow the central and prefectural governments to request hospitals to make more beds available to treat patients of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The revision will allow the governments to disclose the names of hospitals that do not comply with their requests or provide compelling reasons for their failure to do so. The GOJ is planning to approve the revision at the Diet as soon as possible by submitting it to the ordinary Diet session to be convened on Jan. 18. The papers speculated that the revision is intended to increase the effectiveness of the governments’ efforts to increase the number of hospital beds for treating coronavirus patients amid the current shortage.
In a related story, NTV reported this morning that the Tokyo Medical Association announced yesterday that the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Tokyo is expected to surpass 4,600 in a week and reach 7,000 in two weeks. The network said the current number of hospital beds secured for COVID-19 patients in Tokyo is 4,000, about 80% of which are already occupied.