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87 new coronavirus infections confirmed at Tokyo hospital

The Nakano Egota Hospital building in seen in Tokyo's Nakano Ward on April 12, 2020. (Mainichi/Kaho Kitayama)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced April 12 that 87 doctors, inpatients and others at a hospital in the capital's Nakano Ward have newly tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The announcement follows confirmation on April 4 that five other inpatients at the same hospital were infected with the virus. Including these five, the total number of infections at Nakano Egota Hospital now stands at 92. The Tokyo government says it is highly likely the surge in cases represents a new cluster, and is conducting further investigations with cooperation from bodies including the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

According to the metropolitan government, Nakano Egota Hospital told a local public health center that a patient had a fever, sparking an investigation on April 1. Five inpatients subsequently tested positive for the virus on April 4. Around 100 people including inpatients, doctors, nurses and staffers were tested, and 87 cases were confirmed as of April 12.

The Tokyo government is still investigating whether any of the 87 died or suffered severe symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The majority of inpatients at the facility are elderly, and many of those who contracted the virus remain at the hospital. The metropolitan government conducted an on-site inspection based on the Medical Care Act on April 7, and is investigating how the infection spread, among other details.

According to the hospital's website, it has 173 beds and is designated as a secondary emergency medical institution. The hospital has stopped accepting outpatients and banned visits from April 5. The facility told the Mainichi Shimbun on April 12 that it "cannot provide answers (to questions on the matter) due to the absence of the person in charge."

In a separate case, a group infection of 94 inpatients and 69 workers erupted at Eiju General Hospital, a core hospital in the capital's Taito Ward. Of them, 20 patients have died. The group infection reportedly started out with many patients and nurses developing a fever in a hospital ward around March 20. The virus infection has also spread to other hospitals.

In Tokyo on April 12, a total of a166 people including the 87 at Nakano Egota Hospital were confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus -- bringing the total cases of infection in the capital to 2,068. Of the 166, the infection routes of 64 people are unknown. Two elderly people died from the disease, bringing the total number of deaths to 42.

(Japanese original by Toshiki Koseki, City News Department)

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