Japan's health ministry has compiled fresh guidelines on ways to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. They include giving local governments discretion to ask patients with mild symptoms to recover at home.
The Japanese government presented plans to deal with the coronavirus last month, but said that some policies would be changed if the number of patients increased significantly in certain regions.
The health ministry's updated plan says virus tests in areas with rampant outbreaks are to be carried out on seriously ill patients, and not on people with mild symptoms.
If shortages of hospital beds appear likely, those with mild symptoms will be asked to recover at home. At present, all patients confirmed infected are hospitalized.
The plan also calls for setting up medical institutions in each region that can treat dialysis patients and pregnant women who are infected.
The health ministry notes that as medical care systems differ from region to region, it wants prefectural governments to provide explanations to residents and make decisions based on their own circumstances.