BioScience Trends. 2022;16(5):371-373. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01390)

An average of nearly 200,000 new infections per day over a six-week period: What is the impact of such a severe COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system in Japan?

Karako K, Song PP, Chen Y, Karako T


During a six-week period from July 20 to August 31, 2022, Japan experienced its highest level of COVID-19 infection ever, with an average of nearly 200,000 new infections per day nationwide. Cases requiring inpatient care peaked at 1,993,062. Twenty-seven prefectures (out of 47 prefectures) had an average hospital bed occupancy of 50% or higher, and bed occupancy in Kanagawa in particular reached 98% in mid-August. In Tokyo, bed occupancy by patients with severe COVID-19 reached 57% and peaked at 64% in mid-August. Although the number of new infections per day has decreased since September, hospital bed occupancy, the number of severe cases, and deaths remain high nationwide. Efforts including vaccination campaigns, domestic surveillance, and routine infection control measures based on the varied knowledge that the Japanese public already has should be thoroughly implemented to reduce the number of the infected in order to avoid an increase the number of serious cases and deaths.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, Omicron variant, new infections per day, bed occupancy

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