• Jiji


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government lowered its COVID-19 alert level for the Japanese capital’s medical system on Thursday, reflecting a decrease in hospitalizations.

The alert was lowered by one notch from the highest level of four for the first time in 10 months. The metropolitan government also downgraded its alert for COVID-19 infections to the third-highest level.

The seven-day average of new infections stood at 158.7 as of Wednesday, around 3% of its August peak. The number of hospitalizations dropped from last weeks 751 to 430, while the number of severely ill patients fell to 77.

“We need to gradually lift restrictions on ordinary care and balance it with COVID-19 care,” Masataka Inokuchi, deputy head of the Tokyo Medical Association, told metropolitan government officials in a meeting.

The metropolitan government plans to reduce the number of hospital beds set aside for COVID-19 treatment from a maximum of 6,651 to some 4,000.

Some experts warned that the number of people going out at night has spiked since the government lifted its COVID-19 state of emergency on Friday.

“We call on people to take thorough precautions,” such as avoiding going to crowded places, in order to prevent a sixth wave of infections, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said.

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