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Tokyo's medical system enters "critical stage" as COVID-19 cases climb

(Xinhua)    10:31, December 31, 2020

TOKYO, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japan confirmed 3,841 new daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 231,223 infections, not including those related to a cruise ship quarantined here earlier this year, with Tokyo's strained medical system "entering a critical stage," according to experts.

As the virus' resurgence continues nationwide, the Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday reported 944 new daily cases, marking the second-highest daily tally following a record 949 infections reported on Saturday.

The latest figure has seen the capital's cumulative total pushed up to 58,840 infections, with 85 patients in hospital designated as being "seriously ill."

The latest figures come as Tokyo's medical system is becoming increasingly strained owing to increasing instances of infections and experts, according to public broadcaster NHK, have warned that the situation is "entering a critical stage" due to the virus' surge.

The experts said the medical system in the city of 14 million "may collapse if the situation continues."

The warning follows a panel of experts and Tokyo metropolitan government officials meeting on Wednesday on the pandemic. They decided to keep the medical system at the highest alert level on its four tier scale.

Along with noting that the "daily average of newly confirmed cases over seven days in Tokyo had jumped for the third consecutive week," the experts, "stressed the urgent need to take stronger steps to prevent the spread of the virus," NHK reported.

The experts also warned that if the rate of coronavirus hospitalizations stays at the current level, then the "4,000 beds that the Tokyo government has asked hospitals to secure for patients will be fully occupied within the next two weeks."

As for other hard-hit regions in Japan, the western prefecture of Osaka reported 307 new daily cases, bringing its overall tally to 29,686 infections, while Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa confirmed 432 new cases to total 20,674 infections.

The central prefecture of Aichi, meanwhile, reported 294 new infections, bringing its caseload to 16,333, while Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido confirmed an additional 133 new daily infections to total 13,275 cases.

According to the latest statistics, the national death toll currently stands at a total of 3,455 people.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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