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Japan's COVID-19 third wave clogs hospitals' capacity for care

Cancer ward shut and expectant mothers sent elsewhere amid nurse shortages

A doctor at a hospital in Yokohama. Some medical facilities in Japan are being forced to make hard trade-offs to deal with surging coronavirus cases.   © Reuters

OSAKA/ASAHIKAWA, Japan -- Japanese hospitals in areas hit hard by the coronavirus have been forced to suspend care for cancer and other conditions as they deal with a wave of new COVID-19 cases.

Osaka Prefecture on Thursday issued a "red alert" on its scale of the pandemic's severity, urging residents to avoid unnecessary trips outside their homes.

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