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Tokyo says Covid-19 strain on hospitals severe, raises alert to highest – world news

The Japanese capital of Tokyo said on Thursday the strain on its medical system from the Covid-19 pandemic was severe, raising its alert level to the highest of four stages as hospital beds filled up with rising infections.

At a coronavirus monitoring committee meeting attended by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, a health official said it had become difficult to balance the care of Covid-19 patients with regular ones, assigning a “red” alert for medical preparedness for the first time.

The number of positive cases in Tokyo hit a daily record of 678 cases on Wednesday, and the city a month ago raised its coronavirus alert for new infections – a separate category – to the highest level.

It had kept its alert for medical preparedness at the second-highest level at the time, indicating a need to boost hospital capacity but a notch below critical conditions.

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