Japan's health ministry said Monday it has urged local governments to prepare their hospitals for an influx of people infected with the new coronavirus by providing equations for calculating numbers at their peak.
Using the equations and the government's demographic estimate as of October 2018, Tokyo is estimated to see 45,400 outpatients and 20,500 inpatients per day, of whom 700 will be in severe condition.
Hokkaido in northern Japan, where the largest number of infections has been reported in the country, is estimated to have 18,300 outpatients and 10,200 inpatients daily, of whom about 340 will be in severe condition.
(File photo shows the outpatient waiting area at Kanazawa University Hospital in Kanazawa.)
The ministry, which urged the municipalities to boost preparedness at hospitals in a letter dated Friday, explained that the number of patients will reach its peak about three months after the pneumonia-causing virus starts spreading in local communities.
As the number of people infected with the virus has varied among prefectures so far, each local government must estimate its own peak and prepare for it, the ministry said.
As of Monday, there were nearly 1,200 people infected with the new coronavirus in Japan, with about 700 of them from a cruise ship. Hokkaido had the largest group of those infected at over 100.
The ministry has also asked local governments to decide which medical institutions will deal with those who need to be hospitalized, receive intensive care or be put on a respirator. The municipalities are also asked to prepare the necessary medical equipment and supplies.