The Saturday editions of all national papers reported that 20,366 people tested positive for COVID-19 across the nation on Friday, exceeding 20,000 for the first time. Caseloads hit record highs in 16 prefectures, including Tokyo (5,773), Kanagawa (2,281), Saitama (1,696), Chiba (1.089), and Kyoto (450). The Health Ministry reported that the number of seriously ill patients was 1,478 nationwide as of Aug. 12, surpassing the previous record of 1,413 that was marked during the fourth wave in the spring. Over 74,000 people were recuperating at home nationwide, with some of them waiting for several days to be hospitalized. In view of the shortage of hospital beds for seriously ill patients in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Okinawa, concern is growing that even patients with moderate symptoms could end up dying at home or in hotels. Most of the patients in serious condition are now under 60 years of age.
The nationwide tally for Saturday was 20,151, with Kanagawa (2,356), Saitama (1,800), Chiba (1,272), Osaka (1,828), Okinawa (752), and seven other prefectures reporting record high numbers of cases. The number of people in serious condition rose to 1,521.