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Japan will only hospitalize most serious Covid cases as infections surge

Japan will only hospitalize most serious Covid cases as infections surge

Japan will focus on hospitalizing patients who are seriously ill with Covid-19 and those at risk of becoming so while others isolate at home, officials said, amid worries about a strained medical system as cases surge in Olympics host city Tokyo. The country has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases, and is recording more than 10,000 daily new infections nationwide. Tokyo had a record high of 4,058 on Saturday.

Fewer elderly people, most of whom are vaccinated, are getting infected, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters. “On the other hand, infections of younger people are increasing and people in their 40s and 50s with severe symptoms are rising,” he said. “With people also being admitted to hospital with heatstroke, some people are not able to immediately get admitted and are recovering at home.”

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, announcing the change on Monday, said the government would ensure that people isolating at home can be hospitalized if necessary. Previous policy had focused on hospitalizing a broader category of high-risk patients.

Japan on Monday expanded its state of emergency to include three prefectures near Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka. An existing emergency in Tokyo — its fourth since the pandemic began — and Okinawa is now set to last through Aug. 31. The country has avoided a devastating outbreak of the virus, with about 932,000 total cases and just over 15,000 deaths as of Sunday.

But it is now struggling to contain the highly transmissible delta variant even as the public grows weary of mostly voluntary limits on their activities and the vaccination rollout lags. Just under 30% of the population is fully vaccinated, including three-quarters of those 65 and over.

Japan will only hospitalize most serious Covid cases as infections surge, CNBC, Aug 3

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