5 Prefectures Face Severe Shortage Of Hospital Beds

5 prefectures face severe shortage of hospital beds

Japan's medical systems are increasingly under strain as the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise.

On Tuesday, Hokkaido, Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures were at Stage 4, the worst of the four-level alert scale, in terms of hospital bed availability. The scale was set by a government advisory panel to assess the severity of an outbreak.

At Stage 4, there is a risk that healthcare systems may collapse because of an explosive rise in infections.

The health ministry says the nationwide average of hospital bed occupancy rate was 32.7 percent as of Tuesday, up 2.6 percentage points from the previous week.

Hyogo Prefecture saw the highest ratio at 68.9 percent, followed by Hokkaido at 55.1 percent and Kochi Prefecture at 53.5 percent. These three prefectures topped the 50 percent mark set for a Stage 4 designation.

The occupancy rates for those who are critically ill were 57.9 percent in Osaka and 55 percent in Tokyo, also surpassing the threshold for Stage 4.