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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Tokyo COVID-19 hospitalisations mount

TOKYO (CNA) – Over half of Tokyo’s hospital beds set aside for COVID-19 patients were occupied yesterday, a level that officials have previously flagged as a criterion for requesting a state of emergency.

The capital and most of Japan are now under curbs to contain record coronavirus cases driven by the contagious Omicron variant.

Tokyo set aside almost 7,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, and admissions have risen sharply this month, reaching 50.7 per cent yesterday. New infections numbered 14,445.

Governor Yuriko Koike said 50 per cent bed usage would be a threshold for requesting an emergency declaration from the central government.

But last week she told reporters such a request would not be automatic, and would also take into consideration the opinions of health experts and the number of serious cases.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government was not currently considering declaring a state of emergency.

A medical worker in the intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients at St Marianna Medical University Hospital in Kawasaki, Japan. PHOTO: CNA

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