Only very ill Covid-19 patients will be hospitalised in Japan

TOKYO: Japan will only hospitalise Covid-19 patients who are seriously ill and those at risk of becoming so while others isolate at home, officials said, as worries grow about a strained medical system amid a surge in Olympics host city Tokyo and elsewhere.

The country has seen a sharp increase in cases and is recording more than 10,000 daily infections nationwide.

Tokyo had a record high of 4,058 cases on Saturday. Its hospitals are already feeling the crunch, director of Showa University Hospital Hironori Sagara told Reuters.

"There are those being rejected repeatedly for admission," he said. "In the midst of excitement over the Olympics, the situation for medical personnel is very severe."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters fewer elderly people, most of whom are already vaccinated, are getting infected.

"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 heat stroke, some others are not able to immediately get admitted and are recovering at home."

Some worry the shift could lead to more deaths.

"They call it in-home treatment but it is actually in-home abandonment," Opposition leader Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was quoted as saying by NHK .

Organisers yesterday announced 18 new Games- related cases, bringing the total since July 1 to 294. - REUTERS