Hospitals in the Japanese prefecture of Osaka no longer have empty beds available for severe Covid-19 patients, according to government data.
Osaka’s bed occupancy rate for severe coronavirus patients hit 103% on Wednesday, per data posted on the Osaka government’s website. The bed occupancy rate for mild and moderate cases is 82.4%.
To cope with the rising number of cases, the government opened two waiting centers in April with ventilators for patients who called for ambulances but could not be admitted due to a lack of beds.
Authorities also asked neighboring prefectures to accept patients with severe symptoms to ease Osaka’s burden, but so far, only Shiga prefecture has participated. They’ve only accepted one patient.
Since the latest wave of infections began on March 4, 17 Covid-19 patients have died at home or in hotels, according to the government.
Osaka authorities said 13,992 Covid patients remain at home while 2,958 are waiting to be hospitalized or put in hotel rooms.
Hotel spaces are offered to those who cannot be hospitalized or those who need to be away from home and their families while infectious. Local health centers provide patients at home and hotels with oxygen meters and have them monitor and report to the health center.
The Osaka government also asked for nurses from around the country to come help with the rising number of cases. So far, more than 40 nurses have answered. The government website continues to have a “nurses wanted” recruitment notice for those who can “work in the red zone of hospitals and capable of dealing with respirators.”
The government said they will be paid a higher wage than normal.