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Health Care

Japan's overburdened COVID hospitals to take only the sickest

Daily cases in Tokyo seen topping 10,000 in late August at current rate

A critical care doctor at a hospital in Yokohama: The surge in coronavirus cases is squeezing Japan's health care system.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan will restrict hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients to those who are seriously ill, or at risk of becoming so, as surging coronavirus cases strain the health care system.

The turnaround from an earlier policy that had accommodated a broader swath of high-risk patients came the same day that the government expanded a state of emergency beyond Tokyo and Okinawa to three neighboring prefectures and Osaka, casting a shadow over the ongoing Olympics.

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