Moderate COVID cases increase burden on hospitals

NHK -- Jul 28
Doctors in Tokyo are expressing growing alarm as more COVID-19 patients, even moderate cases, are requiring advanced treatment amid a surge in new infections.

The daily tally in the Japanese capital hit a record high on Tuesday.

A member of the health ministry's panel of experts, Doctor Imamura Akifumi of the Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Diseases Center Komagome Hospital, says more moderate case patients are receiving a treatment which requires a nasal device that supplies large volumes of high concentration oxygen.

It's not a ventilator so patients on it are not considered to be in serious condition by Tokyo Metropolitan Government standards. But the treatment is for patients who have strong symptoms. Administering the treatment places a heavy burden on medical staff as it requires thorough anti-infection measures.

On Tuesday, Tokyo officials said 82 people were in serious condition, but Imamura says the number of patients receiving the treatment rose to 91 as of last week.

Imamura said some patients have severe pneumonia even if they are not categorized as serious. He went on to say the medical system will be overburdened if 2,000 to 3,000 new cases continue to be confirmed on a daily basis and more people are hospitalized.

Imamura added that the spread of the Delta variant could continue for some time. He said Tokyo is in a critical phase in dealing with the situation. - NHK