The Tokyo metropolitan government is considering designating two hospitals to exclusively treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus amid a recent rise in cases, according to sources familiar with the issue.
The facilities, which will mainly focus on those with mild to moderate symptoms, will be the first in the capital to solely deal with patients of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.
The two institutions eyed for conversion to treat virus patients are Tokai University Tokyo Hospital located in Shibuya Ward, and a facility related to the metropolitan government in Fuchu in the Tokyo suburbs, the sources said.
"We are finalizing a number of issues," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters Wednesday evening. "We will release the details in an official announcement.
The capital, which has a population of nearly 14 million, has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the country, with a cumulative total of 14,285 as of Wednesday. It has seen 333 deaths.
Average daily new infections over the week through Wednesday stood at 346.3, with a record single-day figure of 472 reported last Saturday, according to the metropolitan government.
Koike has earlier expressed her intention to secure hospitals specializing in COVID-19 treatment following requests made at the metropolitan assembly and at Tokyo government meetings involving experts that analyze the virus situation.
Elsewhere in the country, Osaka City Juso Hospital in the western Japan city was converted into an institution exclusively treating coronavirus patients between April and July, while the Aichi prefectural government in central Japan is similarly considering utilizing a public hospital in Okazaki for virus patients.