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Coronavirus patients to be admitted to any Japanese hospital

Designated facilities would run out of beds if infection spreads

An ambulance leaves the Yohohama port where the Diamond Princess cruise ship remains in quarantine.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan will permit any hospital with proper equipment to admit coronavirus patients in an emergency, as the country faces a potential shortage of beds should the outbreak spread.

The government had limited coronavirus patients to isolated chambers at several designated facilities across Japan. But the total of about 1,800 beds at these medical centers raised concern that the sites would be overwhelmed in an epidemic. China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, has confirmed 42,638 cases through Monday, with 1,016 deaths.

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