TOKYO — Tokyo has reported 97 new cases of the new coronavirus in another record single-day increase as the infection accelerated in Japan’s capital.
Officials are scrambling to secure more beds to accommodate an influx of patients.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike started to raise alarms last week when the number of untraceable cases started to soar. Japan has more than 3,000 cases, including 712 from a cruise ship, with 71 deaths.
Experts on a government panel have called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take steps to prevent medical systems from collapsing.
Koike and heads of Tokyo’s four neighboring prefectures jointly issued a weekend stay-at-home request to their residents last week that will last until at least mid-April. Department stores in Tokyo and its vicinity have already announced their weekend closures.
Tokyo initially only had about 130 beds for isolated treatment of infectious diseases and already had to quadruple the number to accommodate the rising COVID-19 patients.
Koike says Tokyo has secured 700 more beds and plans to get thousands more in coming weeks. She says the city plans to eventually transfer those with slight symptoms to hotels and public facilities to make room for severe patients.