Japanese region says deaths at home surge amid COVID-19 wave

Reuters -- May 11
A growing number of Japanese people are dying of COVID-19 at home as more infectious variants of the coronavirus fuel a fourth wave of infections and hospital resources are stretched to the verge of collapse.

Public anger with the government over its handling of the crisis is growing as are doubts about the viability of holding the Olympic Games in just over 10 weeks, as a vaccination campaign struggles to build up steam.

"Compared to the number of infections, the number of beds for severe cases is very limited in Japan," Yasutoshi Kido, a professor at Osaka City University's Graduate School of Medicine, said on Tuesday.

Eighteen people have died of COVID-19 at home in Osaka Prefecture, 17 of them since March 1, as highly infectious strains of the virus caused a spike in cases, the prefecture said late on Monday, reporting deaths outside hospital for the first time.

Prefecture officials did not give details of why the 18 people had not been admitted to hospital but news of their deaths came as more than 96% of the prefecture's critical care beds were occupied.

Kido said hospitals in Osaka were turning away cancer and heart disease patients to make room for COVID-19 cases but their ability to reallocate resources had "almost collapsed".

Osaka's governor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, told a news conference that in light of the deaths at home amid the shortage of hospital beds, he had asked the medical association to arrange visits to house-bound patients.

The western region has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus and has become the epicentre of cases caused by a variant first identified in Britain that is more infectious and causes more serious conditions.

- Reuters

大阪府によりますと、11日、新たに新型コロナウイルスへの感染者が974人確認されました。亡くなった人は55人、これは過去最多の人数ということです。 - ANNnewsCH