July 26, 2022

Record case numbers

Japan reported a record 200,944 new coronavirus cases on July 23 and its medical system is under increasing strain. The southern island prefecture of Okinawa is especially hard-hit.

Okinawa is seeing about 5,000 new cases per day, a record. The number of infections per 100,000 of the population for the week ending July 23 was 1,923.82. It is the highest rate in the country, 2.5-times more than the average in other areas.

As of July 25, Okinawa's hospital bed occupancy rate for COVID patients was 82.3 percent, also the highest in the country. The occupancy rate for beds reserved for serious cases stood at 35.5 percent.

Hospital services reduced amid staff shortage

Authorities in Okinawa Prefecture declared a healthcare emergency on July 21. To ease the burden on hospitals, people are being asked to avoid using emergency outpatient services for minor issues and undergo coronavirus tests elsewhere.

The prefecture's 27 facilities that deal with coronavirus patients have been asked to scale back regular medical services and find more beds for infected people. Elective surgery, examinations and tests may be postponed for non-emergencies. Most of the medical facilities are facing staff shortages, with infections and close-contact status removing more than 1,200 from the workforce. ...

People's movement restricted

Okinawa's prefectural government enacted restrictions of its own for residents and visitors on July 22. They are expected to continue through August 14 and include: ...

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