Japan's health ministry calls for preparation as COVID cases rise nationwide

NHK -- Jul 06
Japan's health ministry has asked municipalities nationwide to make sure that hospitals have enough beds and testing capacities amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases nationwide.

Data compiled by NHK shows that new infections continue to climb. Tuesday's figure of about 36,000 cases was up 90 percent from a week earlier.

The ministry's notification sent out to municipalities on Tuesday night asked that capacity at medical facilities be expanded in order to properly test people with fever and other symptoms.

The ministry also asked that municipalities be ready to hand out test kits before people develop symptoms.

The ministry wants municipalities to secure enough beds to deal with a possible rise in elderly patients and make preparations to set up temporary medical facilities.

It also requested that municipalities establish systems for sending doctors and nurses to elderly care facilities when needed.

Health ministry officials say the more transmissible BA.5 subvariant of Omicron may come to dominate new cases.

They say municipalities need to be prepared for a surge in cases because the effect of booster shots is starting to wane and the summer holidays will see a rise in occasions for people to get together.

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