A man has died in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, while waiting to be hospitalized for the coronavirus.
Prefectural officials say the company employee in his 50s had been recuperating at home because he had mild symptoms. He lived alone.
But he reportedly told a public health nurse over the phone on Monday that his condition had worsened and that he had a fever.
He died on Tuesday, when he was due to be hospitalized.
The officials say nurses contacted the man regularly to check his condition, but there appeared to be no urgency on Monday, so arrangements were made for his hospitalization the following day.
The officials say they will try to prevent a recurrence by monitoring patients more carefully.
Saitama Governor Ono Motohiro says he regrets the man's death after a sudden change in his condition.
Ono says the prefecture will look into the handling of the case to see how improvements can be made.
Saitama Prefecture is running short of hospital beds equipped to treat coronavirus patients. Of the 686 people diagnosed as having the virus as of Tuesday, 349, or more than half, were waiting at home.