The number of people in Tokyo who were unable to find hospitals or other treatment facilities after testing positive for the novel coronavirus stood at more than 6,000 on Saturday, a panel of experts from the Ministry of Health.
The figure had nearly doubled from the previous week, according to the panel. In more and more areas with increasing infections, local authorities are struggling to get coronavirus patients into hospitals or other facilities, the panel said, adding that it was increasingly difficult to balance the treatment of patients with coronavirus with patients with other illnesses or injuries.
The daily number of new coronavirus cases across Japan has been increasing rapidly since late last year, mainly due to a peak in and around Tokyo, and is expected to continue to reach record levels, he said. he declares. New cases have also increased in the central Chukyo region, centered around Aichi Prefecture, as well as in Kansai and Kyushu since the start of this year, he noted.
On Friday, the government placed Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, where the virus is spreading rapidly, under a new state of emergency over the novel coronavirus.
The coronavirus spread to Tokyo and other metropolitan areas at the end of last year, mainly through company parties and other holiday celebrations and gatherings involving eating and drinking among young people, the panel said, expressing concern about a possible further increase in infections among the elderly. One possible factor behind the nationwide spike in infections after the start of the year was that people were traveling to their hometowns and having dinner with loved ones during the holiday season and New Year’s Eve.
The effective breeding number, or the average number of people to whom an infected person transmits the virus, was estimated at 1.14 nationwide as of December 27 last year. A reading greater than 1.0 indicates spread of infection.
The figure was estimated at 1.09 each in Tokyo and Kanagawa, 1.06 in Saitama and 1.23 in Chiba.
The government decided on Wednesday to extend the current state of emergency against coronaviruses to seven other prefectures – Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tochigi, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka.
Besides Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, some prefectures appear to be demanding necessary action under Stage 4, the worst level of the four-level gauge for the spread of the new coronavirus, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is leading the government’s efforts. to contain the health crisis. , said Wednesday at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Diet, the Japanese parliament. Step 4 suggests an explosive spread of the virus.
The state of emergency in the Tokyo area is expected to last until February 7. The other seven prefectures should remain under the coronavirus emergency until the same day.
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