TOKYO: The Tokyo metropolitan government raised its COVID-19 alert to the second-highest level on its four-tier scale Thursday.
At the day’s coronavirus monitoring meeting of the metropolitan government, an expert warned that the Japanese capital “can be considered to be entering the eighth wave of infections.”
The COVID-19 alert was set at the second-highest level for the first time since Oct. 6.
As of Wednesday, the seven-day average of new infections in Tokyo stood at 8,019.7, up by around 24 percent from a week before.
If new infections increase at the current pace, the seven-day average would reach around 12,300 by the end of this month, according to an estimate presented at the monitoring meeting.
Meanwhile, the metropolitan government maintained its alert level for medical preparedness at the third highest of the four stages.
Still, it aims to increase the number of hospital beds secured for COVID-19 patients from the current 5,283 to 7,262, as the occupancy rate for such beds have already exceeded 40 percent.
In case that COVID-19 and influenza spread simultaneously, the metropolitan government vowed at the meeting that it will boost the capital’s medical capacity to be able to treat up to 127,000 fever outpatients a day.
The metropolitan government will also make its infection registration center able to daily handle as many as 41,000 people who registered themselves as COVID-19 carriers after finding their infections using test kits.