The outbreak of the CCP virus in Japan continues to be severe, with nearly half of the 47 prefectures in the country showing an “explosive expansion of infection” in 22 prefectures, including a sharp increase in deaths in Osaka Prefecture, accounting for more than 30% of the overall Japanese population.
Kyodo News reports that Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures were included in the “Declaration of Emergency” today, bringing the total number of prefectures under emergency status to 9. In addition, the number of prefectures permitted to implement “priority measures to prevent the spread” under the “Declaration of Emergency” has increased to 10.
According to the latest infection status indicators from the Japanese government’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, nearly half of the 22 prefectures in Japan have reached the fourth stage of “explosive infection expansion” in the last week, indicating that the fourth wave of the ongoing epidemic is still not slowing down.
In Japan, there were 6,426 confirmed cases and 94 deaths on the 15th; the number of new cases has exceeded 6,000 on a single day for five consecutive days, and the number of new cases in Hiroshima Prefecture is at a record high. The number of seriously ill patients throughout Japan also set a record with 1,231 people, and the overall epidemic situation remains severe.
The number of confirmed cases after death has grown significantly
The Japanese Broadcasting Association (NHK) reported that 47 of the people who died in their own homes in April were diagnosed with the infection after their death, 1.6 times more than in March, indicating that people may have suddenly deteriorated in health without noticing they were infected.
According to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of people who were diagnosed with the disease only after they died was 47 in April, an increase of 18 people from March, with a growth rate of about 62%.
Among the 47 people, 15 were in Osaka Prefecture, followed by 9 in Tokyo; 3 in Saitama Prefecture; 2 each in Chiba, Aichi, Kyoto and Hyogo Prefectures; and 1 each in Miyagi, Ehime and Okinawa Prefectures.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare believes that it is possible that these people may not know they are infected with the disease but may die due to a sudden deterioration in their health condition. They will continue to ensure a virus screening system in the hope of detecting infected people early so that patients can receive proper medical assistance.
487 deaths in Osaka Prefecture since May
The Asahi Shimbun reports that the number of people who have died from the outbreak in Osaka Prefecture has risen sharply, with 487 deaths in May up to the 15th, the highest number of deaths in a month since the outbreak began.
The Asahi Shimbun’s own statistics show that since the fourth wave of the epidemic began in Osaka Prefecture, more than 30% of all deaths have occurred since April, and the situation is judged to be related to the crisis situation in Osaka Prefecture, where hospital beds are in short supply.
The Osaka Prefectural Government announces deaths every day, including those that occurred before the previous day, so the actual dates of death of patients are not consistent.
Since mid-February this year, Osaka Prefecture had announced single-digit deaths on a single day, but the number increased from late April and continued to exceed 15 deaths per day into May, with the highest number of 55 deaths on a single day on May 11.
Since March 1, when the fourth wave of the epidemic is believed to have begun, there have been a total of 3,403 new deaths throughout Japan as of May 13, including 751 deaths in Osaka Prefecture, accounting for 22.1% of the total; if calculated after April 1, the number of deaths in Osaka Prefecture accounts for 32.2% of all deaths in Japan.
According to the analysis conducted by the Osaka Prefectural Government, during the 3rd wave of the epidemic from October 10, 2020 to the end of February this year, the average age of the fatal cases was 78.0 years old, and fatal cases over 60 years old accounted for about 98.1% of the total; however, under the current 4th wave of the epidemic, the number of fatal cases under 50 years old has increased, and the average age of the overall fatal cases has dropped to 75.2 years old, and the number of fatal cases over 60 years old has also dropped to However, under the current fourth wave of the epidemic, the number of deaths among patients under 50 years of age has increased, and the average age of overall deaths has dropped to 75.2 years.
The Osaka government believes that the main reason for the increase in the number of deaths is the rapid increase in the number of people infected with the disease. 18 of the 20 days between April 13 and May 2 saw more than 1,000 new cases on a single day, and a record high of 1,260 new cases were recorded on April 28 and May 1.