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1,160 COVID emergency cases in Tokyo not taken to hospitals between Aug. 16 and 22

This file photo shows an ambulance on a road. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

TOKYO -- There were 1,160 cases in which COVID-19 patients recuperating at home in Tokyo were not transported to hospitals during the week between Aug. 16 and 22 despite emergency calls -- down 254 from the previous week and the first decrease since July -- the Mainichi Shimbun learned from the Tokyo Fire Department.

    In some cases, the patients were not taken to hospitals based on decisions by public health centers, even though their conditions were deteriorating.

    The number of emergency ambulance requests for COVID-19 patients during the week was 1,983 -- down 276 from a week earlier. This was also the first decline since July.

    However, patients in about 60% of emergency calls were not transported due to reasons such as a lack of medical institutions that would accept them, indicating that hospital capacity remains strained in the capital.

    According to the Tokyo Fire Department, of the 823 emergency transportation cases between Aug. 16 and 22, there were 103 in which it took five hours or more from the time emergency calls were made until patients were accepted at medical institutions -- a decrease of 18 cases from the week before. There were 147 cases needing somewhere between over three and under five hours (down 12 from the previous week), while 478 required over one but less than three hours (up 17) and transportation was completed in under one hour for 95 cases (down nine). In early August, the longest case took as long as 23 hours and 35 minutes before a medical institution would accept the patient.

    (Japanese original by Takuya Suzuki, Tokyo City News Department)

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