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The daily death toll from the novel coronavirus in Japan topped 100 for the first time Tuesday, with prefectures reporting 104 new fatalities from the virus. The number of patients with severe symptoms across Japan as of midnight Monday also grew by 28 from a day before to top 1,000 for the first time.

Skyrocketing numbers of people on waiting lists for hospitalization underline how officials are now being forced to limit medical care to the most critically ill COVID-19 patients amid bed shortages, with the vast majority of less urgent cases being left to look after themselves at home. As Tomohiro Osaki reports, this has translated into a growing number of patients dying at home.

“The fact that there are people dying after being sent home to recuperate is testament to the severity of the situation we’re in,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters last week.

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As of last Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 patients recuperating at home in Japan stood at 30,208, compared to 14,806 who were hospitalized. The figure for at-home patients was 70% above the total just a week earlier.

Meanwhile, prefectures where the hospital bed occupancy situation had reached Stage 4, the worst level on the government’s four-point scale, numbered 19, up from 11 the previous week.

Tuesday’s (and Monday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (50 or over): Tokyo 1,240 (1,204), Kanagawa 737 (957), Osaka 525 (431), Chiba 487 (363), Saitama 422 (328), Aichi 246 (151), Hyogo 218 (149), Fukuoka 200 (204), Kyoto 143 (110), Okinawa 113 (67), Tochigi 94 (84), Hokkaido 92 (125), Ibaraki 66 (63), Miyagi 61 (35), Kumamoto 52 (46). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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