Hospitals in the Japanese prefecture of Osaka no longer have empty beds for patients with severe Covid-19, according to government data.
The Osaka bed occupancy rate for patients with severe coronavirus reached 103% on Wednesday, according to data published on the Osaka government website. The bed occupancy rate for mild and moderate cases is 82.4%.
To cope with the rising number of cases, the government in April opened two waiting centers with ventilators for patients who called for ambulances but could not be admitted due to lack of beds.
Authorities have also asked neighboring prefectures to accept patients with severe symptoms to ease the burden on Osaka, but so far only Shiga Prefecture has participated. They only accepted one patient.
Since the start of the last wave of infections on March 4, 17 patients with Covid-19 have died at home or in hotels, according to the government.
Osaka authorities have said 13,992 Covid patients are staying at home while 2,958 wait to be hospitalized or placed in hotel rooms.
Hotel spaces are available for those who cannot be hospitalized or for those who need to be away from home and their families when they are contagious. Local health centers provide patients at home and in hotels with oxygen meters and have them monitored and reported to the health center.
The Osaka government has also asked nurses from across the country to come and help with the growing number of cases. So far, more than 40 nurses have responded. The government website continues to post a notice of recruiting “nurses wanted” for those who can “work in the red zone of hospitals and be able to wear respirators.”
The government said they would receive a higher than normal salary.