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Coronavirus: Over 90 percent of Tokyo hospital beds are occupied, says government

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More than 90 percent of hospital beds secured for COVID-19 patients in Tokyo have already been occupied, the Japanese Health Ministry said on Sunday, underscoring the pressing need to curb the further spread of the new coronavirus.

The ministry said 1,832 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the capital as of April 28, or 91.6 percent of the 2,000 beds made available for such patients.

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The Tokyo Metropolitan government aims to boost the number of beds for COVID-19 patients to 4,000 eventually.

“There is a possibility that the virus will spread further. It is necessary to bring closer the number of beds from 2,000 to such target quickly,” a Health Ministry official told Reuters.

About 5,000 people in Tokyo were confirmed to have been infected with the virus, representing nearly one-third of Japan's total infections of around 16,000, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Nationwide, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients came to 5,558 as of April 28, versus 14,486 beds set aside for those with the lung disease caused by the virus, bringing down the occupancy rate to 38 percent, data from the ministry showed.