Japan to Hospitalize only serious cases as COVID-19 infections rise : Minister

Tokyo : Japanese government is planning to toughen requirements for hospitalization of COVID-19 patients, taking to hospitals only those who are seriously ill or at risk of becoming so, Japanese health minister Norihisa Tamura said on Tuesday.

“Mostly those whose lives are threatened will be hospitalized,” Tamura stated at a press conference.

The new measures are aimed at containing the spread of a highly contagious Delta COVID-19 strain and preventing collapse of health care system, the official explained.

Other groups of patients will isolate at home or in special hotels if there is no opportunity for self-isolation.

The health minister also asked medical centers and private clinics across the country to enhance monitoring measures and increase home care staff.

Japan is witnessing an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases. On July 31, Japan registered 12,341 COVID-19 infections – a record number since the outbreak of the pandemic. In Tokyo, where the Summer Olympics kicked off on July 23, the daily increase is also hitting records, with over 4,000 cases detected on July 31.

The state of emergency is in place in Osaka, Tokyo, Okinawa, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba until August 31.