Nearly 330,000 COVID-19 patients recuperating at home in Japan

Courtesy of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus is seen in an electron micrograph.

The number of a housebound COVID-19 patients reached 329,538 nationwide as of July 13, growing twofold from 159,780 on July 6, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The highly contagious BA.5 omicron subvariant continues to be the prevailing variant, and the figure is expected to increase further.

The number of people recuperating at home had been on a downward trend since the figure reached about 580,000 in mid-February, but it is rising again.

By prefecture, Tokyo had the most with 53,015, followed by Osaka with 33,374, Kanagawa with 30,146, Fukuoka with 17,862 and Aichi with 17,839. The number of people who have yet to find a place to recuperate reached 76,701, up 120% from a week ago.

In early July, the health ministry urged local governments to inspect and strengthen health monitoring systems based on their experiences with the previous wave of the coronavirus when the oversight capabilities of health centers lagged and some people died at home because they could not be hospitalized.

A total of 11,679 people are hospitalized, and 22,682 are recuperating at designated hotels.

The occupation rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients is also on the rise, with Okinawa Prefecture seeing the highest figure at 57%, followed by Kumamoto Prefecture at 53% and Wakayama Prefecture at 48%.